Once you are in the federal market, the competition keeps on getting more formidable. Here’s everything you need to know to gain a significant advantage in the government market.
Get Competitive: Researching other GSA Contractors
Identifying your key competitors is essential to establish the right prices for your supply and services. Besides that, this allows you to gain a clear understanding of your market to improve your sales strategies. Utilize the following tools to increase your chances of obtaining awards.
Use the GSA CALC Tool
Contract Awarded Labor Category (CALC) is a tool to assist contractors with market research and price analysis. CALC contains a database of labor categories along with their corresponding prices. In comparison with GSA Advantage, searches only take a few seconds to get on your hands. This tool searches through many GSA and VA services contracts, including their prices and hourly rates.
This tool has a data visualization feature that depicts the standard deviations of specific labor category prices. It allows users to determine the highest and lowest prices to help them form task order negotiations. They will display a histogram to help you understand the distribution and ranges of ceiling prices for a given labor category. Two hundred rates can show at a time, but you can access all the data via the search query.
Keep Track of the Best Performing GSA Competitors
The Schedule Sales Query Plus (SQQ+) is a tool that provides information about MAS sales by fiscal year and quarterly. You can find them based on the product or service, the category or subcategory, the Schedule number, SIN, NAICs, business size, or the contract number. This tool can also be sorted by city, state, or zip codes to analyze data across locations.
On top of that, this tool provides insight that can help you monitor your GSA competitors. They provide insight into federal purchasing patterns and sales compared to your competition. SQQ+ is ideal for small businesses who want to know their market but lack data analytics resources.
How to Make GSA Pricing Adjustments
Throughout your 20-year contract, you might have decided to increase or decrease your prices. If you find your GSA Pricing needs adjustment, here are three options you can take.
This method is the best option for contractors offering products in the form of goods. Additionally, this method is for proposals based on a published commercial pricelist. All you have to do is to submit the updated price list, catalog, or standard rate sheet of the company. The price adjustments dependent on commercial prices are subjected to clause 552.216-70 Economic Price Adjustment of MASCs. Most of all, it is essential to maintain 5% to 10% of GSA limits each year.
Price adjustments based on the commercial market. Clause I-FSS-969 Economic Price Adjustment of FSS MAS controls this escalation. Annual escalation rates of 2.3% to 2.5% are only applicable to contractors offering services. It is also important to note that discounts should not go beyond your GSA pricing. Otherwise, excessive price fluctuation can trigger a price reduction clause. This reduction is a result of non-compliance, which can affect your GSA contract.
The market index is for projected price adjustments based on the clause I-FSS-969 Economic Price Adjustment of FSS MAS. This index is ideal if your pricing is dependant on your market index. If not, this can cause significant damage to your company.
Improve Your Proposal Writing
As you already know, not all bidders can receive GSA contracts. GSA practices strict measures to acquire the highest quality contractors out there. The ones who obtain contracts are those who wrote a proposal that stood out. Compliance with the requirements is the bare minimum, but it is crucial.
The federal market is a lucrative one to increase your chances of being considered and improve your written proposal. Here are the necessary steps to improve your approach.
To succeed in obtaining government contracts, plan ahead of your competition. Find ways to gather the projected agencies with projects relevant to your products and services. Otherwise, you are subjected to a more sparse competition when you wait until projects go public. Proactively seeking opportunities give you ample time to curate a valuable proposal that can win you contracts.
Improve Your Company’s Credentials
Before you engage with federal agencies, you should see to it that your credentials are promising enough. You can provide past performance ratings that include projects of similar size, scope, and complexity to your proposal. Matching it with your agency’s project description serves as a concrete proof of your capabilities to succeed. Furthermore, past performance ratings should be both relevant and recent.
Should You Include Your Weaknesses?
To improve your proposal, assess your technical strengths and weaknesses. You need to identify the potential shortcomings you can encounter on the duration of the project. Some technical disadvantages may decrease your chances of winning but acknowledging them might catch your federal buyers’ attention.
Instead of going past your weaknesses, recognize them. Let the agencies know how you can overcome them through your proposal response. This transparency allows you to express accountability and humility that can potentially increase your evaluation score.
Provide Relevant Details
If you think you have enough knowledge to win the government contract, let them know. Provide a detailed Statement of Work (SOW) requirements to let them know that you can deliver. Generalized proposals tend to get rejected, so it is vital to provide the basics, including relevant project points.
Weed Out Competition
The last step is to emphasize how you differ from your competition. You can do so by highlighting your technical strengths when developing your proposal. Make sure to include all that you need to never miss out on anything. If you are successful with this strategy, the top position for the project is guaranteed.
Other Ways to Win More GSA Awards
The bidding process can be challenging, so here are some other ways to increase your chances of getting GSA awards.
Monitor GSA Bids on eBuy
eBuy allows vendors to receive request proposals from federal agencies. Federal agencies post a Request for Quotations (RFQ) to obtain products and services. They will include a SIN to shell out the irrelevant sellers in their specific needs. Consequently, all qualified contractors will be informed via email so they can prepare their proposals.
Find Partnering & Subcontracting Opportunities
This option is ideal for small businesses that want to compete against conglomerate companies. Partnering with subcontractors can help you become more attractive to federal buyers and increase chances of winning. Therefore, proactively look for these kinds of opportunities to get started.
Show up to Conferences & Trade Shows
Conferences and trade shows allow you to expand your network and gain recognition. Great connections can even lead to worthwhile projects in the future.
Pursue GSA GWAC Contracts
GWAC contracts are specific to Information Technology Categories. These can help supplement your IT Schedule 70 GSA Contracts that can expose you to opportunities. They are especially helpful for systems design, software engineering, information assurance, and enterprise architecture solutions.