Do you have a few months left on your GSA contract? If so, you must make about $25,000, or else GSA officers have no choice but to purge your agreement. It is not the General Services Administration’s (GSA) intention to strip away all of the opportunities that your business needs to grow. However, it is the agency’s priority to make way for promising companies capable of providing more for the government marketplace. They are avoiding spending almost $3,000 a year for a business that is not making any sales at all. After all, the GSA contract clearly states that Schedule holders are required to uphold their obligations to avail all of GSA services.
Even though the clock is ticking, there is still a way to prevent GSA contract cancellation and continue taking advantage of being under the GSA Schedule. The first thing that you need to do is to acknowledge the notice of warning letters. Contracting officers often notify the GSA contractors if their time is up. Instead of ignoring the letters, draft a response letting them know how serious you are about maintaining the GSA contact. It is possible to request more time to complete the $25,000 sales goal as long as you provide reasonable ways you can overcome this dilemma. Overall, they should be able to understand how your company is worth all the risk.
Steps to Prevent GSA Contract Cancellation
As previously mentioned, you should convince the GSA contracting officers to retract the contract cancellation by showing how your company is worth the risk. Although you failed to meet the $25,000 sales goal, here are the steps you can take to maintain your GSA contract:
Show GSA your Efforts in Making the Government Market a Better Place to Purchase Goods and Services from the Public Sector
Although GSA offers federal agencies a space to procure products and services, it is still not widely used. As a GSA contractor, you must show them your efforts to make it a better platform for the public sector. For instance, you can establish a sales plan that discusses your future objectives, reaching the sales goal that you missed. To make your sales plan more concise, it should include the following information:
- Details about the federal sales you upon securing a GSA contract
- Business-related activities you facilitated that helped you succeed in the government landscape
- Sales that you made with military personnel that were not purchased using government funds (if any)
- Even though no sales came from them, include a copy of quotes you received from federal agencies.
- Information about the network events you attended to increase brand awareness and exposure.
Present Ways on How You Will Bounce Back
Whether your business has been affected by certain unprecedented events or this year was just unfortunate for your brand, you must showcase how you will recover from this. Make sure to create a comprehensive plan that can help you increase federal sales. From establishing new marketing strategies to improving your business aspects, they should get expressed in bullet points for easy understanding.
Here are some ways to leverage a business development plan:
- Include the marketing strategies you can implement to reach more people and improve your brand’s exposure.
- What are the ways you can do to connect to more federal agencies? These strategies must be different for state and local federal governments.
- How can you appeal to your target market in the public sector?
- Identify the shows and networking events in the future that you are planning on attending. Acknowledge the role it plays in your business growth.
- What is your estimated budget for your new and improved GSA marketing strategies?
- Who are the people responsible for increasing the federal sales?
When naming a particular person responsible for bouncing back, it should also include how you will hold them accountable. Whether you plan on hiring a new marketing team or restructuring your company to focus on improving GSA-specific sales, you should thoroughly disclose them.
- Are you planning on working with a consulting firm that can help you work on your sales?
The GSA contractors must inform their Contracting Officers when they are coordinating with third-party providers. They must know the reason behind working with another company to boost sales. For example, you might notice that your company lacks the internal capacity to simultaneously handle contract maintenance and GSA sales. Working with consulting firms can alleviate the burden so businesses can focus on reaching the target sales goal.
Types of Questions GSA Will Ask You When You’re Facing Cancellation
When the GSA contract cancellation is near, you should expect to have “the talk” with your contracting officer anytime soon. They sit down with GSA Schedule holders to discuss your future with GSA and determine what to do moving forward. To give you an idea, here are the types of questions they often ask GSA contractors:
- Have you responded to the quotes requested within eBuy, FedBizOpps, etc.?
Discuss the quotes that you have responded to since securing your GSA contract. Whether it is for RFQ, RFI, Sources Sought, or RFP, make sure to explain those separately.
This question precedes the particular number of quotes you received throughout five (5) years. It is important to note that the RFQ, RFI, Sources Sought, or RFP get counted separately.
- Did you place bids as a prime contractor, or were you under a Contractor Teaming Arrangement (CTA)?
It is integral that GSA contractors understand the distinction between the two. Subcontractors under CTA often do not count towards making the minimum $25,000 sales goal. Specify the arrangements under prime and CTA along with their outcome.
- Do you have a bid-and-proposal budget?
All of the GSA contractors have a bid-and-proposal budget, so the quick answer is yes. Make sure to disclose this budget along with your allocated expenses for business development. It will also help to describe your plans in the future if you earn the opportunity to renew your GSA contract.
- Is there an incoming task or delivery order that can drive your business in compliance with the sales target?
Make sure to explain the details of the standing orders or projects. It would be best to highlight previous customers’ testimonials, which increase the chances of winning that particular contract. Explain how that project can bring your business closer to the target sales amount.
- Is there a task or delivery order that you have been awarded recently but have yet to get reported?
Whether these projects can bring the contract into sales compliance or not, make sure to give full disclosure of its details.
Altogether, businesses take advantage of the GSA schedule to generate more sales. Expanding their reach to a whole new market brings more opportunities and growth. However, there are obligations that they need to fulfill after being bound by a GSA contract. Failure to reach the target sales of $25,000 can lead to the cancellation of the contract. Even if you missed the mark, there is still a chance to maintain your contract. It is as long as you communicate with your contracting officer regarding your plans to bounce back and move forward.