The Den Report: Watch Arlene Demonstrate ‘Persuasion’ On Jim

Kevin O'Leary is whipping up competition on Twitter between his book, The Cold Hard Truth About Money, and Persuasion by Arlene Dickinson - good taglines describing their different investment styles. Not to be outdone, Robert Herjavec's book, Driven, was released in paperback just last week. It's a great companion guide for entrepreneurs wanting to cross that chasm of death valley. A technology start-up is a lonely journey and beaucoup tenacity will be required.

Anyhoo, any comments on which book rules?

This week's show, Episode 2, is jammed with great lessons for entrepreneurs watching from their sofa. When the B.K.H. Jerky duo, Scott and Raymond Lim, handed out samples of their protein snack product, the Dragons did their usual gung-ho, let's-be-enthusiastic treatment, but then eyebrows popped up with delight. The Singapore taste was identifiable to Jim.

Scott got the Dragon's attention - game on!

Robert explained that his expertise was not distribution to retailers like Costco, and Bruce was quickly out due to his lack of familiarity with food production. At B.K.H.'s size of business, there is no room for a financial partner who does not bring a ton of contacts and industry knowledge.

Arlene picked out the value of taking another country's snack and then packaging with Canadian branding - not that the name B.K.H. fires up the old Canadian taste buds, mind you. A name with zing to signal the Singapore roots would be a step up. Then, customers on cruise ships and B.C. Ferries would be far more likely to buy a quickly recognizable brand - I guess DragonBlaster is taken.

All the hallmarks of a great deal were there - family business built on a proven clientele who bought repeatedly, some bulk orders and a dedicated team.

Family businesses are often highly valued by companies looking to expand and acquire. Once it gains a professional partner like Jim, B.K.H. will likely outperform its competition and may develop into stars like BMW, Samsung, Smuckers, Weston, Irving, Walmart, Maple Leaf Foods or Magna - industry giants that all once started as family operations.

As Arlene said with admiration, "Scott gave up everything to follow his Dad's dream." This resilience and push to even mortgage the family home may seem too risky for most people - even crazy - but to investors this is the kind of passion they are looking for. It's the passion that each dragon knows and lives.

Scott asked for a 25 per cent investment and Jim made it clear he wanted 50. Is this greedy? Maybe, but Jim knows there will be big decisions coming down the pipeline and as an equal partner, he'll need to get Scott up to speed at a pace unfamiliar to a small business owner. Scott will catch on quickly, but in the meantime, there will be growing pains which could induce friction. Once B.K.H. has more revenues, it will be of great interest to larger professional investors. Food processing is hot. It's the second largest manufacturing industry in Canada and sales of food processing products are valued at $68 billion.

Arlene did a great job pitching Jim to Scott: "He's your ideal partner. He's the biggest food guy." Then she pitched the deal to Jim: "It's right up your alley." She played an excellent matchmaker and eventually Scott, wisely, took the deal.

As usual, Kevin offers the hard truth, although this time it wasn't so cold:

"Best jerky I've ever had."

Jacoline Loewen, MBA, is a Director of Loewen & Partners Inc., a corporate finance firm working with business owners and family businesses. Loewen & Partners has raised over $150 million for owner-managed Canadian companies, as well as managing family business succession, acquisition, and final sale. She is an advisor, lecturer and writer of business strategy and private equity. Her latest book "Money Magnet: How to Attract Investors to Your Business," published by Wiley, was selected by the Entrepreneurship course at The Richard Ivey School of Business. Jacoline began her career working for Granduc Mines in Northern British Columbia and went on to work with Deloitte in their strategy unit. She developed a strategic planning model and published it in a book called "The Power of Strategy" which went on to be a best seller. She also wrote "Business e-Volution" which helped teams understand the business opportunities created by the Internet. She writes for the National Post, Globe & Mail and hosted Financial Post Executive podcasts (available on iTunes). She organizes CEO Roundtables and other conferences in alliance with Ivey Business School, Rotman and leading law firms. Jacoline is a Director on the Board of the Exempt Market Dealers Association (EMDA), working with the Ontario Securities Commission to establish transparency in the private placement industry. She is on the advisory board of DCL International, Bilingo China, and Flint Business Acceleration. She was on the Board of Directors of the Strategic Leadership Forum where she ran the Knowledge Café series. Her other roles include serving as a judge for the U.B.C. and the Richard Ivey School of Business' Business Plan Competitions, mentoring for Canadian Youth Business Foundation as well as being a member of The Ticker Club. Follow Jacoline on Twitter at @jacolineloewen