I’m going to keep this short and sweet this week.

Well, maybe not so sweet depending on how you and your business measure up.  Also, if you prefer to listen instead of read, this article is also in podcast form which you can access here or at the end of this article.

I’m going to break down the purpose of advertising to a very simple concept.

The only reason you should advertise is to invite people.

That’s it.

Want me to say it again?

Ok: The only reason you should advertise is to invite people.

How important is it to invite people?  Here’s a story about an event this month that I’m involved with.

I recently joined the Board of Directors for Homebound Meals of Fort Wayne.

In the weeks leading up to my officially being on the board, I was brought on board to help with the social media accounts for Homebound Meals.  And this month, they are hosting a fundraiser event complete with a silent auction to raise funds for this non-profit organization.

This event is called Tapas and Tini’s and is going on this evening, May 11th at Club Soda in Fort Wayne.

I’m not an event planner and never want to be in that position and fortunately, that was not my role.

Those in charge of organizing the event and planning the silent auction put in hours and hours of work for this event.  Hundreds of dollars of items were asked for and received for the silent auction. Food is being prepared, decorations are being set up and it is going to be a wonderful event.

But take a moment and play along with me for a second.

How successful do you think this fundraiser and silent auction would be if we didn’t invite anyone to show up?

We’d still have hundreds of dollars of items ready for bids in a silent auction, but no one to bid.

We’d still have plenty of decorations and plenty of wasted food if we didn’t invite anyone to join us.

The hours and hours of time that was put into the organization would have also been wasted if we didn’t invite people.

I think you’ll agree that it would be not just foolish but stupid to do all the work and preparation and not invite people to the Homebound Meals Tapa’s and Tini’s fundraiser and silent auction tonight, right?

It’s okay because we did the right thing.

We did invite people, including spending some money to advertise.

On Monday morning, a few days ago, I stopped in the Homebound Meals office to see how ticket sales were going and there were only a handful of tickets left.

We invited people to come and they are coming.

That’s a lesson that I wish every business owner would understand and take to heart.

You need to invite people.  You need to let them know that you exist and you want to help them.  You need to let them know how to reach you and how to buy from you.  This is the purpose of advertising. Invite people to be your customers.

Because without customers, you don’t really have a business.

By the way, Homebound Meals has been around for 40 years.  I first became acquainted with them about 25 years ago when my parents were getting meals delivered to their home.  But I had not given them any thought for over 15 years because they did not invite me or advertise to me in any way that I recall until earlier this year when I was invited to join their board.

The lesson for your business is that you need to always be inviting people, or you will be forgotten.  Invite, invite and invite again. Don’t stop.

Need help inviting? Let’s talk.  This is my invitation to you.