Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
- We find you the routes to market that deliver sustainable and consistent revenue
- We bridge the gap between your business and the Middle East
- We bring experience, connections and knowledge
- We fit your timescale, ROI and needs
Most companies contacting us have either placed a tentative toe in the water of the region by visiting to try and make connections, have attended one of the Trade Shows here (or are thinking about exhibiting), are looking for a distributor/agent in the region or more generally feel the region might offer some regular revenues for their products or services.
We start with a brief to ask questions because we take the view that we’ve no idea what you’re trying to achieve until we find out. Only then can we guide you. Unlike other business advisors, we have no agenda aside from wanting to work with you in a way that encourages you to explore, gain business and keep coming back. That’s why most businesses stay with us for years on the journey, because we’re here in region, in time-zone and in the right places at the right time, allowing you to focus on the business-critical requirements back at home.
The answers will include an outline plan on the best route to market – perhaps with a well-researched and interviewed distributor or local partner, perhaps with a support service for your direct team, perhaps with a company established which you own 100%. So many options arise from the brief, but what we guarantee is the answer to the brief will suit your business.
It’s often said that everyone knows everyone by 6-degrees of separation. We’re not sure how true that is, but it seems credible (try it, you’ll be amazed how quickly we’ve all shaken hands with the people who’ve shaken hands the person at the end of the chain). But here in the GCC it’s also said there are 3-degrees of separation, and we’ve found that to be true.
Let’s start with the fact that each of the partners has been in the region working in every increasingly senior roles for between 10- and 20-years. That’s already a lot of people we’ve dealt with in the small(ish) business community of the region. Then add 43-Advisors who’ve all been here at least 5-years and some up to 40-years. Then add the people they (and we) all know, and it’s not hard to see how we know people. And that’s why one of our proud claims is that if we don’t know the right people for you, we do know the people who know the people. Starting at the very top, we can get the connections in place and make the right introductions.
In addition to our wide circles of influence, we have also 2-key relationships which bring great benefit to clients:
- We are the exclusive Middle East partner for B2B Global Networking and we build, access and maintain tens of thousands of LinkedIn relationships through creating and curating content which engages an audience which requests entry to our groups
- We use machine-learning technology, built in conjunction with a global provider of content, to access hundreds of thousands of contacts across the business world and then connect with them for relevant clients and services
We have along-list of clients on the website, and many of these have been clients for a few years, confirming our claim that 90%vof new clients become established clients once we’re working with them.
In addition, we have strong relationships with the 7-English speaking country Trade Commissions and Embassy’s and help companies from those 7-countries continue to grow business in the Middle East. You’ll find us working with companies and Trade Commissions from the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
Very specific briefs deliver very specific responses; hence we take time to understand and confirm your needs. Once we have these needs, we use our advisor network, our connections, our commercial intelligence and our regional cultural knowledge to build you the connections you need, make the introductions, follow up with meetings and briefs from the prospects, and finalise deals.
We like to work with companies who join that process, bring people to the meetings and engage with clients, but also take on roles with businesses who simply want us to manage the sales and relationships.
As the exclusive Middle East partner for B2B Global Networking we build, access and maintain tens of thousands of LinkedIn relationships through creating and curating content which engages an audience which requests entry to our groups.
This means we can build groups for clients too so, for example, should you have a product or service in a certain market we’ll help build a network that you own, and can build a series of messages to encourage them to react, build relationships and join in with content. And as well know, the more a client engages, the more opportunity you have to build revenue relationships.
We have built a service over the past few years based on the 3C’s of Commercial intelligence, Cultural knowledge and connections.
In practical terms this means we deep-dive into the market conditions and growth factors for your business in the region, providing you with knowledge and practical advice from renowned resources that we have built into our network. Whether it’s top-line information on country conditions, or sector knowledge or deeper into market growth for your section of the market, we have subscriptions in place to the right news and information sources, plus our own connections we’ve developed that serve well in the provision of information to clients.
We provide a filter that you won’t find elsewhere because we know where to find the data and information.
Each year we have added a handful of trusted advisors to our business, and they have to conform to key criteria. They need to be knowledgeable on their sector, experienced in the region and close to the action. Once we have these criteria we ask them to become advisors, and enter a formal relationship.
We have usually known and worked with the people for some time, and this allows us to offer something no other business offers in this region – a secure knowledge of the people we work with, but founded on the principles of knowledge and connections. This advisor network means we offer clients a group of well-connected people in the region which is impossible to find elsewhere.
They work across most major sectors, and the bigger sectors have more advisors. They all have access to commercial information and connections that companies outside of the region will find almost impossible to access, and that’s why the 8 Point Advisory way works so well.
As always with a bespoke service, that’s a difficult question to accurately answer, but we can say there are typically 4-elements to the answer. The key to our service is we never charge more than the client needs for the service; with 8 Point Advisory there’s no consulting partners in the business or wide group of unseen overheads to support, so the client gets what the client needs. Consulting businesses work on the need for every staff member to be a revenue earner, but we work on a project fee that never increases once the parameters have been agreed.
This is an area of strong experience for us, as we’ve run Trade Shows across the world at a senior level and dealt with thousands of companies in all regions and 6- of the 7-continents (yes, Antarctica would be the missing link here). We understand the needs of exhibitors and how to get the best from their presence. The key is planning and follow-up, and simple as that sounds, you’d be amazed how many companies do one and not the other.
It takes work, commitment and an understanding of what’s needed. So often these wonderful opportunities to develop business are left to go cold as they’re left to local companies to manage after the event, or to people from the home country to follow up out of time-zone, out of sight, out of commitment and so left without the time needed to follow the ROI. That’s what we can help with.
We provide that service, although that’s not the prime reason for many companies. But we have a strong knowledge of the needs and requirements in the region, and guide companies on whether they might need a FTZ business, onshore, offshore, which country, region or partner. There are 48-FTZ’s in the UAE alone, and 7-Emirates, so the knowledge needed is deep. We have this, and also working relationships with KSA, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait to guide the best way into those countries without the need to establish in each.
No, we’re not. Our primary purpose in life is to help guide a business to their best solution in the region, and most have no need to establish a business at present. But they may need to after a while, and we guide and advise from the beginning on the requirements and potential needs.
Anyone that has a need for your services. That’s a bold claim to make, but we have proven to be successful over the years precisely due to the ability to focus on your needs, make the right introductions and follow up with the opportunities presented.
And due to our ability to build data based upon those needs, and deliver that into your hands to own and use in your company’s own time, we always build and strengthen your performance in the market.
The 3-founding partners have built a reputation in the region for strong connections, good business and being commercially aware.
Neil Wood has nearly 30-years’ experience in business, the last 10-years in the region, and has been responsible for delivering hundreds of thousands of successful business relationships through the Trade Shows across the world.
Leroy Durward has 25-years in business and came to the region in 1998 with a remit to organise a major brand growth into the KSA, Qatar and UAE. Since then he has developed and run one of the region’s largest distributors.
Sam Armitage came into the region in 2001 to run business development for a major media business, went on to do the same for the Financial Times and then for ARN, who remain one of the most successful providers of radio. In 2012 he established an idea to leverage the newly incoming digital media initiatives heading to the Middle East from the rest of the world, and so 8 Point was born.
The number 8 symbolises harmony and balance and represents infinity. In ancient times, Pythagoras had his students meditate upon the number 8 as a way of invoking infinite abundance. The number 8 has no ending and loops back upon itself, showing that there is no lack of opportunity. The Mobius Twist is a number 8 that many people feel is the physical structure of the universe, something without ending. We like to think that 8 Point Advisory offers opportunities without end.
All ideas have their beginnings in experience, and our experiences in business start in the 1980’s. Our growth as business people came in the 1990’s and our Middle East experiences started towards the end of the last Millennium and into the new one. We brought all this together in 2012 with the launch of 8 Point, and since then have grown to 43-advisors and more than 50-staff.