You’ve made the decision to mystery shop! Now what?
My first piece of advice is – Don’t Get Overwhelmed!
Mystery shopping is a little bit more involved than most people think it is. And far less complicated than some make it out to be.
It sounds like fun – and it can be. But mystery shopping is a serious business to the businesses it serves. And your job is very important to the companies who contract with mystery shopping providers.
Just like any entrepreneurial business, there is some preliminary work that needs to be done before you actually start working. But taking the time to do what needs to be done – and do it correctly – is well worth it in time and anguish saved later.
Where to Begin When Starting Your Mystery Shopping Business
- Know your purpose – Why are you mystery shopping?Is it for extra money, to get free meals or discounted purchases, to fill up extra time now in retirement or to contribute something to the world of customer service? It could be a combination of the above.
If you know your why, it will help you to quickly decide the types of jobs you want to apply for. And perhaps, more importantly, which assignments you don’t need to consider.
If your purpose is to get discounted purchases or meals – then you can pass by the apartment shops, bank shops, or phone shops.
If you need to make extra money fast – then you will want to look at higher paying shops vs those which only provide reimbursement.
It doesn’t mean you will never apply or look at the other types of assignments but maybe just not now.
Knowing your purpose will help decrease overwhelm because you will know where to focus.
- Set your boundaries – You are in business to profit in some way or another.This means it won’t make sense to travel 100 miles for a $25 shop (unless you are a route shopper, of course!). Understanding what makes most sense, based on your purpose, will allow you to set boundaries when looking for assignments.
Know how far you are willing to travel (even for a free meal). How much time you truly have to devote to a conducting the mystery shop AND completing the report. And which types of shops you really find interesting or fun to do.
Boundaries will help you to find the companies and assignments that provide the best opportunities for you.
- Use the resources available – Mystery shopping is a huge business. There are a lot of good resources – and some not so great. One of the best ways to sift through what is out there is to talk with the others who have gone before you.MSPA-Americas, the industry’s leading trade organization, is the best resource for knowing which mystery shopping providers are legitimate. The organization is also a source of training and certification for mystery shoppers.
There are also many Facebook and LinkedIn groups devoted to mystery shoppers. Places where you can interact with schedulers and other mystery shoppers to learn the ins and outs of the industry.
You don’t have to create your mystery shopping business on your own – there are many people willing to help you get started!
Once you know your purpose, set your boundaries and use your resources to find the best companies to work with – you are ready to start!
Then you can apply to those known legitimate mystery shopping companies, respond to assignment requests you know you want to complete, and start fulfilling your purpose for mystery shopping! Without the overwhelm!
Do you have a system for staying focused when looking for mystery shopping assignments? Share below! We all learn from one another.
If you liked this article and want more information to help you become a better mystery shopper join the Market Viewpoint community by clicking here.
Click here if you want to join Market Viewpoint’s team of mystery shoppers.
Do you know someone who would be a good mystery shopper? Please forward this post to them! Thanks!