Q: What is GSA?
A GSA Schedule is a formal agreement between your company and the federal government. A GSA Schedule is also called a GSA Contract, although GSA doesn’t order anything from you. Government agencies do, and they use the information in that Schedule (Contract) to order from you.
Q: What’s in a GSA Schedule?
Your GSA Schedule has your contract number, the beginning and ending dates of your contract, the FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations) clauses that form the legal basis and rules of your contract, a description of the goods or services your company offers through the Schedule, the maximum rates or prices you may charge the government and prime contractors for each labor category and other items.
Q: Why do I need this?
To respond to a government requirement, in many cases, the government and its established vendors require you to have a GSA schedule. The reason for this is the Schedule has pre-negotiated rates and prices, so the government and its vendors know that said rates and prices are fair and reasonable. Additionally, in most cases, an award based on a GSA schedule is considered to have been “competed”, an important government requirement. Essentially, a GSA contract is a powerful calling card even if a government agency does not buy from GSA schedules because having a GSA contract means that the government “certifies” your company, including its financial system, expertise and past performance.
Q: What’s the big deal about creating a GSA proposal?
• If you take on this enormous task yourself, without any assistance, it could cost you thousands in lost revenue and time, and you still might not have your GSA contract. There are many obstacles. First, you will encounter 100+ pages of information, across many documents, which the government has written in a style and format that is unique to the federal government and alien to most small businesses. Most small businesses that have never done business with the government find these documents overwhelming and confusing. Therefore, you will spend a great deal of time simply trying to decipher GSA’s documents. This is time taken away from running your business and means lost revenue! Second, most small companies have spent at least a year, unproductively, trying to understand and respond to GSA’s densely worded documents. Third, most companies end up with a proposal that the GSA rejects because the proposal had too many omissions and mistakes. You lose twice. Because you diverted time and effort away from your traditional business • When you start working on your GSA proposal, again you lose revenue from your regular customers. Also, because GSA usually rejects proposals from companies that don’t use proposal assistance, you lost money you would have made if you had your GSA contract. Most small businesses wind up taking twelve to eighteen months to do something that we can do in less than six months. By using our professional services you can be making money in six months with your GSA contract rather than wrestling with the process unproductively for at least a year.
Q: What is the biggest obstacle to marketing to the government?
Not appreciating the government’s needs and business methodologies. You must listen to the customer and determine the what’s and why’s of this complex customer. Also, understand that you have lots of competitors. Wise companies learn how to partner with other companies to create a larger, more competitive entity.
Q: How much money does this market represent?
The government is a gigantic business that must count on its suppliers for billions of dollars of goods and services, from a to z. Your company eventually could land government contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars or higher.
Q: Do I really have a chance?
Yes, you do. The government is revising its procurement practices to the advantage of small businesses, especially minority, veteran and women-owned enterprises. Large, established government prime contractors seek qualified small businesses for their expertise and to meet small business subcontracting goals required of them by the federal government.
Q: Where should I place my expectations?
You are going to start small, probably providing resources to an established contractor for a larger effort they will manage. Over time, you will establish a positive record of “past performance” (on-time delivery, within budget). Customer satisfaction is vitally important. Establish a program of zero defects, and you have the correct approach.
Q: What’s next?
Review our home page to decide the best way we can help you with the proposal for your goods and services. Then, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 571-730-4237. We thank you and wish you many successes with your government contracting initiative!
Q: What if I need more help for my company?
Well, we can help you apply for 8(a) status, update your records in SAM or put together any sort of proposal, not only for GSA ! Send us an email or call to inquire, help is just a step away.
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