Having GSA contracts is ideal for businesses looking for ways to increase their margin of profit. This increase provides many benefits to gain a competitive edge from small, medium-sized to large enterprises. If you want to break into an overly saturated market, becoming GSA-certified gives you an automatic advantage against direct competitors. Federal buyers are only going to verified vendors like you to obtain products and services. Not only can you secure a target market, but you can also guarantee profit for years to come.
According to the terms in almost every GSA contract, Schedule holders can sell for five years. When the contract expires, they can opt for renewal if they still want to pursue the industry. This opportunity gives them plenty of time to develop and hone their products. And that is with the help of strong, lasting connections with the government marketplace.
The process upon approval requires rigorous legwork and preparation. Every document and proposal you submit must be accomplished with maximum accuracy to decrease the chances of rejection. Something as simple as a typo can cost you your profit over the next five years. It can be a lengthy process, so it is vital to know everything you need to do before you apply.
What is a GSA Contract?
GSA Schedules are the primary medium used for contracts of the federal government and, in some cases, local and state. Some state and local buyers involve educational institutions, hospitals, and tribal governments. The coverage is usually long-term and government-wide and settled with commercial suppliers.
It helps them save a lot of time as suppliers select products and services within arms reach. The millions of products and services they offer can give cost-savings due to their negotiable ceiling prices. Purchases made under GSA schedule contracts represent up to 21% of the overall federal procurements. On average, purchases by these agencies tend to reach $42 billion yearly.
How do You get a GSA Contract?
Here is the breakdown of everything that you need to know to obtain a GSA contract:
● Before submitting an offer to become a Schedule contractor, ensure that you have settled two things: DUNS and SAM. You need to get your business evaluated to acquire a DUNS number. Results come within a month, which can cost around $185. The DUNS number is only valid for a year so make sure to get started on the application process right away. Secondly, GSA requires businesses to register on System for Award Management or SAM. It serves as the primary database of multiple federal procurement systems.
● GSA requires potential contractors to pass the “Pathways to Success” and the Readiness Assessment training before proposing. Both of these courses are free and available online. This training helps you make effective decisions in the future.
Pathways to Success offers a thorough dive right into how GSA schedules work. From the requirements to the step-by-step guide to becoming approved by GSA, this training covers it all. It helps businesses understand what it takes to be an industry partner. The Readiness Assessment Training prepares firms to make informed decisions when it comes to receiving bids and quotes. The training demonstrates real GSA data sources to help you develop a lead generation strategy suitable for your business.
Gather all the requirements and fill out all the necessary forms. Depending on your Schedule, there are different sets of documents you need to provide. Here are some of them:
● Financial Statements
● Financial Statements
● Subcontracting Plan
● Professional Compensation Plan
● Previous Notification of Determination to Not Exercise an Option Letters
● EULAs or TOS
● Commercial Sales Practice-1
● Commercial Pricelist
● Pricing Support Documentation
● Price Narrative
● Technical Proposal – Prepare your complete financial information, past performances, and a report of your business practices.
Besides completing all the essential details on the website, here are the documents you need to submit. These documents need to get uploaded into the eOffer.
● Agent Authorization Letter
● Letter of Supply
● Price Proposal Template
● Sample Labor Category Matrix
After your submission to eOffer, a contracting officer will immediately review your application. This process can take up to 12 months to ensure that you have the capabilities to deliver quality products and services.
When you finally receive your review back, you enter the negotiation for the terms and contract pricing. You should prepare before this meeting to establish strategies and your approach. Once both parties agree, you will draft the final proposal. You just have to wait to be awarded a contract after this to start selling finally.
What is the ROI for Getting a GSA Contract?
There is a significant ROI attached to being a GSA contractor. However, you cannot rely on a single figure to know the ROI for getting a GSA contract. More often than not, there are increased net returns, especially for products and services in demand. For instance, the broad categories: Information Technology and Professional Services reaped the most net returns in FY 2019. A majority of transactions made last year belong in these categories. The estimated ROI is 47% for IT and 29% for PS.
How GSA Helps to Grow Your Business
GSA Schedule contract holders can increase their chances of growing their revenue. When you don’t have to make extra efforts to hunt down customers, you get to save the money to develop your product. Additionally, using GSA services expedite the whole transaction for you. Federal buyers only need to go to GSA platforms to look for manufacturers and suppliers to place a bid. GSA contractors can increase their target market and portfolio. Once you become a GSA-certified enterprise, customers can verify your expertise and quality. With an added authority to the industry, businesses can prove to the consumers that they can meet their increasing demands.
Moreover, GSA Schedule orders usually get placed in bulk. Not only can you have increased revenue, but you can also prove that you can take on challenging demands. Having a GSA Schedule makes it easier to make huge sales because it streamlines the process with pre-negotiated prices and offerings.
Being awarded a GSA Schedule Contract may seem like the light at the end of a long tunnel, but the journey is not yet over. A plethora of benefits and opportunities await for these businesses once they get to make a sale. Nonetheless, you can always guarantee long-term benefits as long as you do everything accordingly from the very beginning.