MONTROSE—(March 2) For some entrepreneurs, one small business is just not enough. Amy Harmsen, who owns Canyon Gallery (Main and Townsend) with her husband Wil, has found a second career in direct sales to be the perfect fit, allowing her to generate extra income while maintaining the flexible hours needed to continue working in the gallery and spending time with the kids.
Now, Harmsen wants to take her small business, a Send out Cards distributorship, to the next level—and she doesn’t want to go there alone.
“I have been doing this for just under a year, and it is quite a wonderful business,” Harmsen said. “Send Out Cards is an online card and gift shop that allows you to send an actual snail-mail card with just a click. It’s so easy, and the ability of a card to brighten someone’s day is amazing!”
In talking with other local direct sales professionals, Harmsen believes that there is opportunity to band together and increase revenues. So she has organized a direct sales career fair, be held at 6 p.m. on April 10, at the Warrior Resource Center at 11 Park Avenue. So far, ten local direct sales company reps have signed up to take part.
“Home-based businesses are better off working together,” she said. ‘We can help each other grow, and learn, and stick to our goals. Accountability partners can help us achieve those goals.”
Although she herself has always loved sales, Harmsen said that many who get into direct marketing are afraid of selling—at first.
“Direct sales help us grow ourselves,” Harmsen said. “We learn public speaking and organizational skills, and often what starts as a part-time business becomes full time, and allows you to make your own schedule.”
With a tough job market and high unemployment levels, direct sales can provide greatly needed additional income as well, she noted.
“You can also set your own hours, which is so important for someone with a family,” she said.
The Direct Sales Career will help dispel myths about the industry, and offer ideas for those who want to get a foot in the door.
“We will talk about the benefits of direct sales, and share local success stories,” Harmsen said. “After all, several of our Downtown business owners had successful careers in direct sales before opening their storefronts. We will have time for mingling, and light refreshments like coffee and tea. Vendors will have tables out, to share their products with people who are interested—the whole key to direct sales is that you have to very much believe in your product.”
The Direct Sales Career Fair is free to the public, and will open eyes to other sources of income, Harmsen said.
“It’s really no different than a corporate hierarchy,” she said, “except that there is no cap on what you can earn with direct sales. You can continue earning even after you retire, thanks to residual income, and you are not competing with your own group—when you succeed, you are helping others succeed.”