If you’ve put off getting yourself organized as a mystery shopper, you could be losing money without even knowing it. You may think a disorganized work life would just lead to a little bit of chaos and stress from time to time, but there’s much more to it than that. Here why you should take a little time and organize your mystery shopping life today!
Know What’s Going On. You may think you can keep track of your mystery shopping assignments in your head. After all, you just book your assignments a day or two before you head out to complete them. At the long end, you may have a week that passes by until the shop date and time arrive. Certainly you can keep track of that in your head, right?
You may be able to keep track of most assignments in your head, and your disorganized system of scheduling may work for awhile. But eventually you are going to run into a rather busy portion of your life and that mystery shopping assignment is just going to erase clean from your head amidst all the chaos of your daily life. Once you’ve missed one assignment with a provider, it will be incredibly difficult to regain trust from them, and your paycheck will most definitely suffer.
Also, you are likely wasting both time and money by not making an effort to double book your schedule. If you are heading out to one mystery shopping assignment on a certain afternoon, why not kill two birds with one stone and try to pick up another assignment to complete while you are out. We all know mystery shopping in many cases is not the most lucrative job, but you can make your time more worth your while by doubling up on assignments.
No Log, No Money. If you are not keeping a travel log in your car and writing it in religiously each time you do anything mystery shopping related, you are losing money. There is no ‘maybe’ about it. In many cases, the mileage that you can write off will completely negate any income you receive from your mystery shopping mystery. So what this means to you is that your mystery shopping income can essentially be tax-free, or very close to it. If your tax rate is 15-25%, this means, you have another 15-25% added to your bottom line profit from mystery shopping. So pick up a notebook on your next trip to the grocery store, keep the notebook in your car, and be sure write off the mileage you traveled to buy that notebook!
Keep Your Papers Straight. The tendency for the disorganized mystery shopper is to print out the mystery shopping assignments an hour or two before the assignment date and review the assignments then. This may be fine most of the time. But think about what would happen if you ran out of paper or toner in your printer. Sure, you could probably read the requirements online and then simply try your best to remember them while you are stressed about your printer. Or think about the possibility of other things interfering with your schedule, such as sick kids, a car accident, a crisis at work, bad weather. These things can and do happen all the time, and they cause us to run late. The smart mystery shopper is prepared for these things and prints the requirements out ahead of time to allow for delays.
Chances are, if you have been delaying printing out your assignment requirements, you may not have a good organizational system at your home office. After all, who wants to print out twenty pages of paper and have them lying around for a week? Spend a few minutes and make a file organizational system for your home office. Make a “to be completed” file, and a “completed” file. Buy a stapler or box of paper clips to keep the papers from getting mixed up. You can definitely create a much more elaborate filing system, but even a filing system as simple as this will go a long way in ensuring you get to your assignment knowing what the requirements are regardless of what is going on in your regular life. And this means ensuring you get paid on an assignment!
Even the most organized person has a tendency to let things falls into disorganization from time to time. Spend a few minutes today taking a look around your home office with fresh eyes. Make any small improvements to your organizational system that will help you be a better mystery shopper.