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4 things mystery shoppers should never leave home without

Mystery shoppers can only prepare so much for each shop they accept. One thing that will help you out, no matter what industry the shop is for or how many guidelines you have to recall, is having all the right supplies.

When you start planning a particular shop or are trying to find better ways to manage your mystery shopping career in general, it's a great idea to develop your own personal system that you can rely on daily.

Here are several items strong mystery shoppers are never without:

1. A notepad
Depending on the shop, blatantly writing out notes may not be a possibility. But, even if you can't scribble items down in real time, having a notebook at the ready in your car, purse or backpack is a must. Make it available so you can write down everything you remember as soon as you leave the shop.

2. A cell phone
Sometimes, shops can go awry or additional directions are needed. Having a phone available is a good idea in case you need to call your scheduler to clarify details. Or, better yet, in case your scheduler needs to contact you with another assignment.

3. Extra pens
Again, never set yourself up for failure or let yourself forget important details. That notepad is no good unless you have something to write with.

4. Professionalism
Mystery Shopper's Manual stated that having a professional email address is key to becoming a better mystery shopper. You want to make sure your clients and your scheduling company know you are serious about providing excellent service. The same goes for appearance. Unless a shop specifically calls for a particular look, dress in a way that is presentable and nice.

Remember, it's up to you how far you want to take mystery shopping. Being prepared is the best way to start down the right path.