How to Understand Your Mobile Marketing Tour Job Offer
The purpose of this article is to spell out what that tour offer means.
First off, congratulations on your first tour offer! Be prepared to work hard, but also have some of the most fun of your life. I can remember my first offer. You feel excited and cannot wait to pack your bags and take off. The offer comes in your email. All of a sudden you feel panic. Is this a good offer? What is a Comdata card? Why do I need to give my personal information for a credit card? Is this even a good offer, or am I being scammed? Do I want to invoice on my personal credit card? That excitement turns into anxiety and you do not know where to turn.
Let us break down the “parts” of an offer. You will have your salary, food per diem, lodging arrangement, transportation between cities, uniform, and supplies. I have never had any two tour offers look the same, so do not worry about how it is presented. All you need to focus on is what you should be looking at and what questions you need to clarify with your account manager.
This will range based on experience, hours of activation, travel days, and so on. Of course, like you would on any job, you need to ask yourself if you are willing to work for X amount per week. I would recommend on the very lowest end not to dip below $800 a week. Even if you are not “working” you are always on call, and 50-75% of the time you will end up doing something work related on your day off.
Food per diem:
This is fairly straight forward. How much is allotted to you for food daily. I have seen this as low as $25 a day and as high as $75. This is strictly a personal choice. Look at the cities you are traveling and think of your eating habits. What is the amount you need to live comfortably? My only warning here would be to make sure your per diem is 7 days a week. I have seen a trend of some agencies trying to only pay per diem the days you are working. You need to eat 7 days a week, therefore, you need per diem 7 days a week.
This one comes in every possible combination, and this is the one you will need spelled out the most. Are you sharing a room? Are they booking the rooms on a corporate card? Are you booking the room on your personal card? Who actually books the room? There is no wrong or losing combinations on the lodging. In my opinion, the most financially beneficial is if you are just given a flat daily rate and are able to book your own lodging. Lodging on the lowest end would be $100 a night. If you see some higher end cities on your routing, you need to discuss an additional stipend to cover those cities (ie. NYC, San Francisco, Boston.) You just need to do your homework for this cost. Go to kayak.com, put in the city and dates, and see the average cost of hotels. Keep in mind some cities you will spend over and some you will spend under. It will even out.
How is it paid? You might be given a corporate card to cover hotels. They might book them and pay for them before you arrive. You might be asked to put it on your personal credit card and invoice the company. You could be given a flat rate weekly on your paycheck, and be able to pay however you chose. Make sure you know in advance the expectations before you accept the offer.
How in the world are you getting around? You could fly or drive. Same questions as with lodging. Who pays for what and who books what? Follow the same model as above. This is strictly personal. However, no transportation costs should ever come out of your own pocket. If there will be a taxi from the airport to your hotel, make sure you spell out in detail how that cost is covered. When thinking about parking the tour vehicle, ask if there is a budget for this. If there is not, you need to make sure the hotels you/they book have free parking. If you do not do your homework, you might find yourself paying out $22-44 a night to park the truck. Or even worse then a steep parking ticket, a $600 towing bill.
Again this is straight forward. Are they providing the uniform? Do you need to bring your own uniform? Are they giving any reimbursement for buying these items? This is one place you do not want to leave money on the table. Most companies are in the business of keeping the most money in their pocket possible; you should do the same. It does not hurt to ask these questions. However, if they are providing you with a uniform that needs to be dry cleaned only, you need to discuss the amount being reimbursed weekly toward that cost. Dry cleaning can quickly add up to $50-$150 a month depending on how many items and how often you need them cleaned. If it is normal clothes that can be washed at a laundromat, ask if there is a weekly stipend for uniform washing. You would be surprised how after you ask, $6-10 a week might be allotted that would not have been otherwise.
The company might give you a corporate card, a pre-paid card, or ask you to expense miscellaneous items on the road. These items might be as small as cases of water for the staff or as large as tent rental in the case of rain. If you do not carry a large enough line of credit on your personal card, make sure you are clear about the amount per month you are able to expense.
I mentioned a Comdata card in the introduction. These are becoming less and less prominent in the business, but do still exist. Think of this as the old style debit cards. The company will load your food and/or lodging money on these weekly. You can only pull money off of them at an ATM, and yes there is the fee from that ATM. However, you can link them to your checking account, and just transfer the funds into your checking for free. It does require one phone call a week to make this transaction happen, but its all automated. For the most part your pay will show up on your paycheck broken into categories, or you will get two separate checks all together.
Hopefully now you feel a little better about that offer letter. You are able to know if you are getting a good deal, if you should professionally decline, or possibly make a counter offer. I enjoyed many years on the road, and made a good living. Welcome to the touring family!