How to Start a Mystery Shopping Company in 5 Steps

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Mystery shopping services are a growing business because restaurants and retail stores know that the key success is good customer service. The goal of a mystery shopper is to evaluate the employees, their general attitude and how well they meet the needs of potential customers .You must have the element of surprise when visiting a location. If you know how to evaluate customer service and like eating in restaurants, mystery shopping can be the right business for you. Here are 5 useful steps on how to start a mystery shopping company:

Step 1 – Set up a business plan
A business plan is essential for any new business because it allows you to plan ahead and prepare for any outcome. Many entrepreneurs think that they only need a plan when seeking potential investors or applying for a loan. The basic plan should contain a market analyses, a summary, a description of your company and its mission and a break-even analysis.

Step 2 – Marketing
If you don’t know how to start a mystery shopping company and where to begin, start with market analysis. Before you go into business research the opposition and learn about how much rival companies charge, where they advertise, who are their clients and where do they hire the employees.

Step 3 – Basic supplies
In some states a private investigator license is necessary for a mystery shopper. You will also need a computer with internet access, a printer and a reliable vehicle for transportation. Also have your wardrobe prepared for both upscale restaurants and retail outlets.

Step 4 – Get organized
If you want to know how to start a mystery shopping company and turn into a success, the first think you must do is to get organized. Keep records of each company assignment in an excel document or using Google Docs, including their websites and contact details, date you visited the shop, pay date, reimbursement amount. Make it simple and add a columns for each field. This will save you time and prevent errors.

Step 5 – Find assignments
Networking is vital so contact some local retail shops or restaurants by phone and promote your services. Another good idea is to attend meetings at the Chamber of Commerce and hand out business cards to various business owners. Although the majority of clients will be local, set up a web page and include all promotional materials like brochures, flyers and business cards. This will help clients get in touch easier and enhance the possibility of expanding the business.