Every year around this time, many people look toward the future with bright hopes and dreams for a better year than the last. Some will jot down resolutions and refer back to them throughout the year to make sure they are staying on the path they want to be on. Others will be less formal about their goals yet still keep them in mind as the year progresses. As a mystery shopper, you likely are considering some changes to make this year that apply to your job. You may already have a few in mind, but here are a few more to consider implementing for an even better year than the last!
Break the Mold. With so many things in life, it is easy to fall into a routine. You may eat the same breakfast every morning, drive the same way to the grocery store each week, walk your dog at the same time of day, and more. With mystery shopping, you likely have fallen into a routine as well. While some routines may be good to establish, such as Fido who is depending on you to walk him at a certain time each day, with mystery shopping a routine can really limit your growth and income potential. Make it a goal to shake things up a bit this year and try out some different assignments. Consider heading to the next major city over and spending a fun weekend mystery shopping away from home, or try out a few different types of assignments that you have never done before. Not only will you likely make some more money, but you will also add some pizzazz back into your mystery shopping career, too!
Shop With a Buddy. As a mystery shopper, you probably spend many long hours working alone. This can include lonely hours in the car commuting to your various assignment sites, time spent walking through stores and dining at restaurants alone, and time alone in front of your computer as you file report after report. It is a lonely life indeed! You can take much of the loneliness out of your mystery shopping life, however, when you bring a friend, a spouse, or even a child along with you. They certainly won’t want to sit with you while you type out reports, but they likely would love to spend some extra time with you and see how you work and earn money.
Pay the Tax Man (Less!) When you are an independent contractor, as most mystery shoppers are, you can pay a ton in taxes, or you can keep track of your businesses expenses and pay very little, if anything at all, in the way of taxes on your mystery shopping income. Keep in mind that everything from your miles traveled to your printer paper, that new laptop you just bought for your reports, and even some of your home utilities and so forth used for your home office space can be written off. This is a significant amount of write-offs available to you, but you have to keep track of the paperwork all year long. It can be a pain, but when April 15, 2012 rolls around, you will be thrilled to see your efforts pay off when you keep more of your own greenbacks in your pocket!
Take some time to put these goals for the new year into action right away and you will have a better year mystery shopping in 2011.
What changes are you making this year? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Add them to this article. Fill out the comment form and let us know.