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Most of my customers have researched a GSA Consultant or two as well as acquiring a GSA Contract themselves, and some have even tried unsuccessfully several times. Any GSA Contract specialist worth their salt will go out of their way to make sure you understand the major terms of the contract, and have access to the solicitation. There are plenty of predatory companies out there in this industry, which makes the do-it-yourself approach more appetizing.
However, some companies just operate better by focusing on their core competencies and letting an expert handle the GSA Contract acquisition and administration for them. Administering a GSA Contract is a full-time job, and keeping up on the intricacies of your industry may be a handful. This makes it very helpful to have a GSA Consultant handy, someone that knows the ins-and-outs of GSA Contracting and keeps you updated on the sea changes within the agency.
Why Trust a GSA Contract Consultant?
You trust a CPA to do your taxes, and you are on the hook if they are wrong. Similarly, every GSA Contract holder must understand that they are responsible for keeping compliant to the terms, conditions and negotiated prices of their GSA Contract. Again, if you have a bad feeling about your GSA Contract consultant it may be time for a change. Especially if you feel they are being secretive or annoyed when you ask questions about your GSA Contract.
PTAC offices can be helpful with marketing services, but I have not come across much help in the realm of GSA Contract acquisition and administration (just in my experience, I could be wrong). They can get you onto an RFQ notification system for some descent local leads, and this service is often free.
Doing it Yourself – Benefits & Pitfalls
Administering your own GSA Contract will force you to learn and grow into this role, but if you do not have time or resources, then without a GSA Consultant you will likely fall into non-compliance. There are inevitably going to be situations that arise where the GSA documents are unclear, and you will not know where to turn. The internet will have a million articles about your situation, and you will find conflicting information there too, and many articles may be out of date. So having a trusted GSA Specialist to turn to will save you time and you will learn from an expert rather than waste time on the internet.
Again time is a big consideration when deciding to keep your GSA Contract administration in-house or use a GSA Specialist. There are real consequences for non-compliance, and the head-in-the-sand approach will lead to problems because ignorance is not an excuse to the GSA. If you have the time or manpower to manage your contract, great. This is a very good solution, especially if you are very active in the federal market and working in the tens of millions range annually. Otherwise, a GSA Contract Consultant is likely a good option – giving you the ability to stay lean and rely on a trusted expert as-needed.