Benefits If Getting On a GSA Schedule
There are many advantages that getting on a GSA Schedule will offer. Here is a list to give you a general idea:
- Access to GSA eBuy to receive daily federal leads by email.
- Access to GSA advantage to list your products on the largest federal e-commerce site.
- Listing on eLibrary, the search engine that agency buyers use to find solutions to purchase.
- Increased trust and notoriety in the federal market – GSA contractors are vetted and pre-screened, so buyers know they are low risk to do business with.
- You gain access to the $35 Billion is GSA sales (2020 figure).
- The average GSA contract holder makes around $2.3 million per year.
- This is an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract that can last up to 20 years
There are also some things you should know you are getting yourself into with the GSA schedule program:
- Around 30% of GSA contractors have zero sales
- If you do not reach the minimum sales threshold the your contract is at risk for cancellation ($25k first two years, then $25k each year after)
- There are sometimes GSA clauses that limit commercial practices.
- There are light compliance audits every 5 years
- Compliance and maintenance of your contract should be mastered and unkept.
Eligibility for a GSA Contract
Are you wondering if your company is eligible for getting on a GSA Schedule? Here are the requirements:
- Two years in business – this is verified by submitting the past two years of financials, and the start date as entered in your SAM Record.
- Past performance – you must be able to provide invoices, contracts, etc. Within the scope of one or more GSA categories (special item numbers or SINs). This shows the GSA that you have performed. The services you are offering, or fulfilled orders for products you wish to list on contract.
- Financial strength – if you r company has experienced a loss or has any soft spot so n your balance sheet, then the GSA will esquire the issues be addressed. It helps if you have at least $150,000 in revenue.
- Products must be TAA compliant, which means the country of origin must be backed by a US trade agreement.
Process of Getting on a GSA Schedule Contract
There are two stages to get into the Multiple Award Schedule program (GSA Contract). First, is a large document preparation process, called “building the offer.” This is filled by the second stage, which is the GSA’s review of the Offer.
Building the Offer:
- Downloading the solicitation and template document package (separate websites)
- Read through the solicitations hundreds of pages, and locate the instructions.
- Follow the instructions to build the document package (this is very confusing and frustrating for a beginner).
- Submit the offer package into the GSA eOffer system, and input all of the necessary details.
- Accept the first of many rejections that normally lead to 12-24 months of frustration.
- Give up or locate a GSA consultant to complete the process for you.
This is obviously a “tongue in cheek” hyperbole, but we have talked through this exact sequence almost every week for over a decade. It happens a lot! And we are here to prevent it.
So, here is what getting on a GSA schedule can be like if you work with us:
- We send you an on boarding “Welcome Package” with a very orderly, one-page checklist of items needed from you ( about a dozen items).
- We talk through the checklist with you to answer all questions, and forge the simplest path possible for your document gathering. We handle everything we can, and get you the short list of what we cannot.
- Once you send all items over, you can move into the passenger seat. We build the GSA Offer for you (usually 25-30 documents).
- We upload and submit your Offer to GSA.
- GSA assigns a Contracting Specialist and they begin their review.
- 3 months later (or so) the GSA reaches out with a list of questions and demands for further support in areas they want more insight into. We handle everything we can, and get you the short list of what we cannot.
- … more review time, and likely a few more rounds of clarifications.
- We all talk through Negotiations with the GSA, we act as a coach and advisor. We, obviously do not make decisions on your behalf, but are here to help navigate the process for you. We make sure you know your options with every GSA ask. In almost all cases, GSA Focus customers enjoy great discounts and T’s & C’s, and have smooth sailing for the life of the contract.
- Final “seal the deal” paperwork processed – called Final Proposal Revision or FPR.
- GSA Contract Award 🎉🥳🎉🥳
- Post award processing – after getting on a GSA Schedule, we will handle your registration, final doc prep and upload, etc. to make sure your Company is perfectly set-up for success in the GSA systems.
- Done! That was easy. The process takes around 6 months (+/- a month usually as of 2021). Now you can focus on Business Development and GSA Focus is here to help maintain your GSA Contract over the long run.
Cost of Getting a GSA Contract
There are only a small group of GSA Consulting firms that are able to offer high-level service, but only one hat offers a Guarantee: GSA Focus. The price can range from $3,500 all the way up to $20,000. That price range for getting on a GSA Schedule will leave most with their heads spinning when trying to locate the best provider for their company.
There are some very bad GSA “specialists” out there. Here are a few tips to help you avoid becoming a victim to a bad provider:
- Avoid any company that calls you about getting on a GSA Schedule. There is a predatory company out of Florida that asks for all money up front, with a high pressure approach. (You can easy google around and find their long list of enemies on ripoff-report)
- Look up the companies on BBB ( we have A+ score by the way 😉)
- Ask for references and email or call some in your industry. We always provide these.
- It is almost always a good idea to avoid companies that try to do it all. They are usually mediocre at all services provided, while a GSA-only company will have a mastery of the GSA Process and well adapted to GSA changes.
On the other side, here are a few tips to help you avoid paying way too much for mediocre service:
- Ask if they perform their own GSA services. Some companies will “white label” GSA services, where you pay a hefty finders fee, and the service is typically subpar.
- Location governs price. If you don’t mind paying 2-3 times the price for equal or lesser service to work with a beltway company, then there are several options. But, the premium you are paying is due to their high rent, not anything that brings YOU any value.
- Research and ask who their customers are. If you are outside of their target market, then they may not be a good fit.