“Our revenue grew $26.8M in 4 years on the GSA Schedule Program” – Ted M.

Avoid These Common Mistakes When Bidding on a U.S. Government Contract

Avoid These Common Mistakes When Bidding on a U.S. Government Contract

A growing number of businesses aspire to expand their outreach to the federal government for the benefits it can guarantee. They can leverage their GSA contract to skip the negotiations, paperwork, and delivery agreements. It allows them to focus on the more important part: bringing growth to their business.

Becoming part of GSA Schedules can guarantee an immense boost in sales and revenue. It has been the most innovative and unique solution for small businesses looking to increase their brand awareness. They gain loyal customers when regularly supplying to different departments of the government. Soon after you receive a GSA contract, you can compete with thousands of enterprises in contracting opportunities.

However, your GSA Schedule cannot define your success in that field. Although you can take advantage of your contract to enjoy GSA services, it’s up to you to market your products. More often than not, businesses waste time, effort, and money chasing for opportunities they are unqualified for in the first place. The GSA contract may get you closer to the government marketplace, but you are the only one that can close the deal.

Instead of focusing on all the revenue, you are missing out on, ask yourself if you qualify for it. The federal government has a lucrative market that features various products and services. It is your goal to make an impact on each of your prospective buyers. Not only to keep them coming back but also to maintain your reputation in the market. Otherwise, all your efforts might go down the drain.

If you want to succeed in this field, make sure to avoid the following mistakes that may cost you the US government contract you are longing for:

Over-Reliance on the Socioeconomic Designation

Many business owners are well-aware of the fact that GSA prioritizes providing opportunities to small businesses. 80% of GSA contractors consist of the minority groups that make up the socioeconomic designation. However, it is vital to consider socioeconomic appointments, including the 8(a) certification or qualifying as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business (SDVOSB) is not the key to success. It may give you an advantage, but it cannot guarantee your company will land government contracts.

The work does not end after you receive a GSA contract award. It is also integral to establish competitive marketing strategies that introduce your brand to your new market. The federal government is an entirely new market, but you still need to develop a good relationship with your prospective buyers and customers.

Nevertheless, it is imperative to pursue GSA services if you qualify on its socioeconomic designation. Even if you do not qualify for a GSA schedule, it is still worth a shot. Either way, businesses should not rely solely on their advantage. Thousands of qualifying firms compete with you, and it would be best to find a way to stand out.

Investing in GSA Schedules (when you don’t fully understand them)

Similar to any type of endeavor, it is imperative to learn about it before going for it. It is not a mistake to pursue obtaining GSA Schedules. However, it is crucial to perform extensive research to confirm if going through the lengthy process is worth it. The error can occur when you invest a substantial budget and time to get a GSA contract without understanding it clearly.

Frequently, businesses fail to realize that the GSA’s target customers are not avid users of their products. You may overlook the fact that some federal agencies have particular preferences regarding products and services. Without conducting market research, you get into the venture without a clue. Secondly, you may not be knowledgeable about GSA policies, including the Most Favored Customer clause. This clause is the primary reason why most GSA contractors hire GSA consultants before applying. The consultants can provide them all the necessary information they need before tapping into the market.

Getting a GSA schedule can provide you with a myriad of benefits that contribute to your business growth. However, you need to thread the needle to get in unless you have significant government contracting experience. With the slim chance you got of getting in, you cannot achieve prosperity if you don’t work hard. There are vast contracting opportunities available to you now, but you still have to compete for them. After all, earning as much is vital to be able to sustain your GSA contract privileges.

You are not Realistic About Your Capabilities

Starting a business in itself is a financial risk. It is important to anticipate all the worst that may happen while you are going onto this venture. If you are the type of entrepreneur that shies away after a bit of a downfall, this might not be convenient for you. You need to recognize all your capabilities as a business and highlight them. At the same time, address your shortcomings and find ways to overcome them. Amidst all the uncertainty, proper management of your resources and coordination with your team can be your key to survival.

When establishing a market strategy, place your concentration on locating your target market. Find particular federal agencies that can take advantage of your expertise. Not only can this lead to reliable and quality leads, but it can also help you bolster your brand among thousands of competitors. Similar to the commercial market, the federal government has its preferences and criteria in a GSA contractor. Understand how you fit in their life, and you will do just fine.

Failing to Identify Your Differentiators

Defining your competitors mean looking for other businesses that match what you offer. They have similarities to your business that makes the customers think twice when choosing between brands. However, not all companies are alike in all aspects. You must take time to find your edge as a business and utilize it as your selling point.

Identifying what makes you different allows you to win over government contracts. It might be challenging to find, but as long as you have it, customers can single you out as the best.


GSA contractors should recognize these potential mistakes that can affect their chances of winning public sector contracts. The government market is an entirely different market, but e benefits are long-term once you have a breakthrough. It is considerably tougher to navigate in comparison to the commercial sectors. However, if you familiarize yourself with GSA policies, government standards, and your product market, you can provide better services to your consumers.

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