What should small businesses consider pursuing a GSA Schedule

Explore insights small businesses should consider before pursuing a GSA Schedule, from understanding commitments to compliance regulations, for success in the federal market.

On Considering a GSA Schedule: An Overview for Small Businesses

As a small business, considering a GSA Schedule is a major decision that can potentially lead to a flux of opportunities in the federal market. This is not a decision to be taken lightly, however. It's crucial to approach this strategically and with an arsenal of information. In her educational talks and sessions, Melody Giangreco shares several key insights that small businesses should consider before pursuing a GSA Schedule:

Understanding the Commitment

Obtaining and managing a GSA Schedule Contract requires a significant commitment of time, resources, and ongoing compliance. Small businesses need to prepare for the initial application process, which includes detailed proposals and negotiations, as well as the continuous management of the contract, with tasks such as reporting sales and ensuring compliance with federal regulations.

Evaluating Your Market and Offerings

It's crucial to ensure that your products or services are in demand within the federal market. This involves researching which government agencies are purchasing what you sell and determining if these agencies typically use GSA Schedules for procurement. It's also pivotal to consider the competition in your target GSA Schedule and understand where your offerings excel.

Financial Stability and Past Performance

The GSA typically favors businesses that have at least two years of operation under their belt, along with a history of financial stability and successful performance. You should confirm that your financial statements are orderly and that you possess a robust history of past performance that signifies your capacity to fulfill contracts effectively.

Resources and Expertise

You should also consider if you have adequate internal resources and expertise to deftly navigate the GSA Schedule process or if you would require help from external consultants or training. The federal procurement process, pricing policies, and compliance requirements are not simple terrain. You should determine if you will need extra staffing or training to manage the GSA Schedule contract efficiently.

Long-term Strategy

The GSA Schedule is often more so a long-term strategy than a quick sales fix. This contract type requires enduring marketing efforts to federal buyers, contract administration, and adaptability to changes in buying practices. It's crucial to confirm that the nature of GSA schedules aligns with your business strategy.

Market Positioning and Value Proposition

It's essential to clearly define your unique value proposition to the federal government. Ask yourself: How do your offerings stand out in the market? How can your business appear more enticing to government buyers? Understand and articulate your unique selling points in your GSA Schedule proposal.

Compliance and Regulations

Familiarizing yourself with the compliance obligations and regulations associated with GSA Schedules is a must. This will include knowledge of the Trade Agreements Act (TAA), pricing disclosures, the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF), and the GSA Schedule contract's other terms and conditions. Maintaining compliance is key in keeping a good standing and steering clear of penalties.

In preparation for applying to a GSA Schedule, it's highly beneficial for small businesses to attend informational events such as the Beyond All Limits Small Business Conference, and other such workshops and training sessions. This will enable insights to be gained, peer connections to be made, and lessons to be learned from experts. Making an informed decision with a comprehensive view of the requirements, advantages, and challenges will put your small business in a prime position for success in the federal market via GSA Schedules. As a team guided by a former GSA Schedule Reviewer, we provide top-tier GSA Schedule Consulting services.

Pedro has extensive background as a Contracting Officer and Contract Specialist, has worked across seven federal agencies, managing contracts totaling over $1 billion in the professional and tech sectors. His notable tenure includes serving with the DoD/DARPA during the inception of their robotics program. Additionally, he played a pivotal role in initiating the Cyber Special Item Number (SIN) within the GSA's IT Schedule 70 as a Team Lead. After graduating from Harvard, he started Blackfyre to help you win your next contract.

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GSA Schedule

  • GSA Application Submission

  • Turn-Key Application Process

  • Up to 5 SIN Categories

  • Lead Negotiation Process

  • GSA Compliance & eBuyTraining

  • Six-month of GSA Support

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GSA Exercise Option Period

  • Document Preparation

  • BD Plan Creation

  • Capture Management Plan Development

  • Expert Guidance

  • Turn-Key Application Process

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GSA Maintenance Program

  • GSA Mass Mod Management

  • Quarterly FAS Reporting

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Growth Program

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  • Identify Contract Opportunities

  • Craft Technical Proposals

  • Craft Price Proposal

  • Enhance Past Performance Documentation

  • Subcontract Management Assistance

  • Six-month of free support

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BlackOps Program

  • Weekly Series of Four Calls Focused on Contract-Related Subjects

  • Assistance in Crafting Capability Statements

  • Guidance in Developing Technical Proposals

  • Support in Formulating Price Proposals

  • Access to a Supportive Community

  • Personalized One-on-One Assistance Aimed at Securing Your Initial Contract Win

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Ask CO

  • 24/7 Support

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  • Flexible Monthly Membership with No Long-term Commitment Required

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Monthly Contract Opportunities to Capture

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