Adams Financial Concepts,  Mile High View,  Return on Investment

Identifying the Value of a Company

If you and Alice Canlis were side by side in a small hatchback driving across North Dakota, would she kick you out or would you become best friends by the time you reached Chicago?

Mark Canlis, co-owner of Seattle’s renowned Canlis restaurant, believes none of the 90-plus person staff at Canlis would find themselves hitch hiking in his mom’s dust.

What does this have to do with financial investing? I’ve talked a lot about the qualities of successful businesses. Through interviews and evaluations, I’ve broken down what I believe are the top two qualities: people and inventiveness. As an investor, you need to look at how a business owner obtains these qualities.

Let’s consider Canlis and people –

While you could make the argument Canlis’ value is derived from its high-end cuisine and exceptional wine pairings, Mark distinguishes the real value of a restaurant as: “How your time was…treasured.”

He attributes the exceptional experience to his staff, a group of people whom he believes are trustworthy, generous, and others centered – just like his parents. How does he pick such an amazing staff? Mark said:

My first interview question for anyone is, “How will you become more of who you want to become while you are working for our company.” If they don’t have a good answer, I can’t honestly recommend they work with us.

Canlis’ value is maintained through their personnel. As an investor, it’s important to recognize companies which take the time to hire a valuable staff.


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