A well-attended class at every mystery shopping conference is the one that talks about managing your route or creating a job flow within a territory.
The most successful mystery shoppers are those who know how to manage and maximize their time and their territory.
As an owner of your own home-based small business, you should develop a plan for how far you are willing to drive for X amount of dollars. There are only so many businesses who mystery shop in your home town. Probably not enough to keep you busy or financially successful. You must look further in order to earn more money.
First, do your research. It is worth your time to spend a couple of weeks studying the email solicits you receive from mystery shopping companies and schedulers, and review the job boards for the companies for whom you work. Become familiar where the shops are within a 10, 20, 30, or even 100 mile range from your home.
You could even email some of the companies to ask where else in your state (or a neighboring state, if you are close) they have assignments.
Chart out these places on a map and try to make the most out of your travel time.
For instance, Market Viewpoint’s offices are located about 40 miles west of Philadelphia. Now of course, no one would travel the 80 miles to and from Philadelphia for a $20 bank shop.
But along the travel route east to Philadelphia and back are many towns where there are mystery shops available from different secret shopping companies.
Let’s say you have a full day – 6 or so hours to complete shops. Knowing Philadelphia is your furthest point, you take the bank shop for $20 and another branch of the same bank along your travel route for an additional $20. On your way back, you pick up an apartment shop for $25 and then a quick retail shop for a $10 reimbursed purchase. And you meet your friend for lunch – where your $15 lunch bill is paid for by the mystery shopping company!
You’ve now earned $75, taken care of a social obligation with a free lunch, and had a full day’s work. Even better if you can slip in another social visit along the way!
Making the most of your time and travel benefits you financially and earns you a reputation as a willing and flexible mystery shopper! You earn more money and get to write off the gas mileage for the day!
The next day, you can plan to head in a different direction to pick up another 3 to 4 shops.
See how this works?
Use your time and travel miles wisely! It will pay off!
How do you manage your time and territory for mystery shopping! Share your tips below!