The General Service Administration (GSA) is a government entity that was established in 1949. Throughout the GSA’s evolution in its governmental responsibilities, it has grown into handling the management of government buildings, procuring products and services, and helping to develop policies and regulations.
Due to the nature of these responsibilities, any private business interested in obtaining a government work contract needs to work with the GSA. This system has worked well for the last seventy years. Albeit, there were tweaks and additions that were made throughout the changing times. However, the GSA has continuously kept this important program running smoothly throughout its lifetime.
Now, the GSA has incorporated a modern change that businesses need to follow, to help get on the good side of the GSA.
General Overview of GSA Contracts in 2020
GSA Contracts, as anyone who has ever dealt with the government, can imagine, are extremely detailed. Therefore, any changes to the forms, policy or procedure is a big deal. However, in September 2019, the GSA made the decision to streamline the GSA Contract system, to simplify the process for hiring entities. Here are some of the changes that were put into practice in late 2019:
- The plan for GSA 2020 ultimately wants to provide consistency throughout its methods and platform. This comes after contractors insisted this consistency was not apparent in previous contracts.
- The GSA is consolidating and modifying MAS Contracts.
- By July of 2020 GSA intends to let certain contracts lapse, in favor of better performing contracts.
While GSA 2020 enacts a lot of changes, the entirety of implementing MAS Contracts is the best interest of both the government and the contractors that are hired through this program. Therefore, to adhere to these changes and give your company the best chance at pleasing GSA 2020, modernize your application to fit the new format.
Modernizing Your Application Process to Win GSA Contracts in 2020
When an influential entity such as the GSA reconstructs their process as dramatically as they have, in preparation for 2020, it is important to take notice. If your company has hopes of receiving a GSA contract, it is important that you make changes to your approach that will make your application stand out. Here is how to take a modern approach to win over the GSA in 2020:
Draft your Capabilities Statement
A Capabilities Statement is a one to four-page document that offers a lot of information about your company and qualifications in a concise manner. Remember, one of the main goals of the GSA is to streamline the process and make it easier to hire contractors in 2020. A Capabilities Statement is the perfect document for this purpose. In your company’s Capabilities Document, include this information:
- Start with a captivating introduction and profile of your company.
- Discuss your business’ core competencies.
- Explain your company’s specific, highly-relatable areas of expertise.
- Everything that makes your company stand out above the rest.
- Mention any major customers, references, and completed projects.
- Add profiles of your management and key personnel.
- And don’t forget important contact information.
This might seem like a lot but if it is done correctly, in a flowing, organized fashion, it will answer nearly every question the GSA will have. This is the goal. You want them to know nearly everything they need to know about your company before they finish your Capabilities Statement.
Isolate your Target Market (Fed Agencies)
In business, regardless of whether it is in the private or government sector, isolating your target market is essential for success. In this case, you need to present your business in a way in which the GSA wants to be introduced to you.
The way that the GSA wants to be introduced to you is early before they even realize they have an issue. If you are waiting for job boards like FedBizOpps or eBuy to facilitate your multi-million dollar opportunity, you’re wasting your time. POsting jobs here is usually a formality; sixty-seven percent of the hirees already know who they want to do the job before the post is even live.
That is why, instead of watching job forums like a hawk, you need to be watching industry trends, global issues, and brainstorming industry challenges. Then, you need to figure out how you can mitigate those challenges.
Once you have an idea in mind, show how your approach is lightyears ahead of your competition’s approach, and make sure you get in early. Don’t wait for the problem to manifest. Instead, be proactive and perceive the problem. Create a solution and present that solution to the industry. The GSA will be pleased by your attention to detail and for saving them a headache.
Research & Obtain Contract Vehicles
Researching a client and their needs is always an important start to a successful client/contractor relationship. The government is no different. Therefore, you need to use the contract vehicles at your disposal to get on GSA’s radar and learn how they operate. Here are a few Contract Vehicles to start you on your research journey to acquiring a GSA contract in 2020:
SAM (System For Award Management Registration): This is a database that all contractors need to register with to be awarded a government contract.
FedBiz Navigator: The classes offered by TurboGSA helps your business learn how to market to the GSA.
Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs): This and other vehicles offer relevant information on becoming an asset throughout the government, instead of with just one portion of it. This is really being pushed right now, since GSA is trying to consolidate contracts, so it is important to understand how these vehicles work.
Capture Management Planning
The government likes to know everything about what is going on under their roof, respectively. Therefore, after studying cases of GSA Schedule contract holders a big deciding factor in pay rates was the quality of their management planning. The better documented and prepared the contractor was on paper, both for the positives and the potential risks with the contract, the more jobs the contractor received.
Proposal Writing and your Batting Average
Instead of talking about your company, it is important to explain what your customers will get from you. Do your research, weave in the specifics of your company and the merits of working with your business, but keep the main proposal all about them. What will they get out of the deal? How is your business going to make their lives easier? What problem are you solving for them?
Additionally, make sure you outline a plan for compliance issues. Throughout your research, you will come across compliance statutes. Make sure that you address these issues and explain how your company will adhere to that compliance readily.
Long Term Nurturing
Working with the GSA in 2020, like with any client, forges a relationship. You want to nurture that relationship. The best way to do that is to find out the best times to send a proposal, which is generally June and September. Once you have a relationship started, contact them often and treat them special because if they become a reoccurring customer, they will likely make up the majority of your annual income.
In summation, it is important to keep up with and adhere to the newest GSA regulations. This is important whether you are working with them currently or you hope to work with them. Yet, it is also important to be proactive, meet deadlines, and treat them like the amazingly lucrative client that the United States government can be.