When mystery shoppers realize that performing shops can become a lucrative endeavor, most get very excited about having their “own business.” Running a business – even a small, part-time one – involves extensive record keeping. Mystery shopping is no exception.
Keeping a spreadsheet that lists the companies you work for and your related login information is an important first step. But to make your business run efficiently, there are several additional steps you should take:
- Keep an easy-to-use calendar. Whether paper or electronic, choose a calendar that works for you and use it. Record every assignment you accept, its location and due date.
- Set up folders on your computer to save assignment letters, copies of your reports, correspondence from schedulers or people you’ve met with, etc. You can create a master Mystery Shopping folder, then create sub-folders for each company or type of assignment.
- Create an additional folder to store scanned and uploaded receipts.
- Track your mileage, non-reimbursed expenses, and when and how you were paid for completed work.
Taking the time to get organized using these methods will save you lots of time. You will know at a glance which shops are assigned to you for any given day or week; easily access and verify original documents should there be questions about your report; and perhaps most importantly, have all of your required financial data readily available at tax time.
Instead of “digging around” for documentation – whether for a mystery shopping company or your accountant – organize important information for quick and easy access, and spend more time mystery shopping, and more time earning!
What are your top tips for keeping your mystery shopping business organized?