By Kristin Ghanem | Harkcon's Contract Manager
Now that you are an established small business, you may be wondering what to do next. Where do you find customers and how do you sell them your product? You’ve probably even figured out that the Federal Government could benefit from your product or services! But, how do you sell to them? The General Services Administration (GSA) is the sole source that is dedicated to purchasing for the government and it provides an easy and convenient way for contractors to sell their goods and services: GSA Schedule Contracts.
What is a GSA Schedule?
GSA Schedules are contract vehicles that establish long-term government-wide contracts with commercial companies to provide access to products and services at volume discount pricing. They make the process easier and more effective for both the government and contractors.
How to Qualify for a GSA Schedule?
Before submitting a successful offer to GSA, your small business must prequalify and have a proven track record in your industry. This usually means that you have been in business for at least two years and earned at least $25,000 in revenue per year. However, this can vary based on the type of procurement program.
There are also required online training courses that must be completed before you respond to a GSA Schedule contract solicitation. They are called “Pathway to Success” and “Readiness Assessment.” They can be found at www.gsa.gov.
Finally, your small business must be a “known” legal entity. By establishing yourself as a small business, you have already met most of these requirements by obtaining a DUNS number and certifying as a small business in SAM. However, you must also get a past performance evaluation (PPE) from Dun & Bradstreet. The PPE assesses past performance relative to other competitors in your industry and is often requested during the bidding process. You must provide the names and email addresses of six to 20 of your customers. It should also be noted that this service has a fee.
What is the advantage of a GSA Schedule?
GSA offers several programs and contract methods. I suggest that you spend time looking through all of the options on GSA’s website before making the decision about what is right for your business.
The GSA Schedule program is the preferred method of procurement for the government. Agencies like to purchase from Schedules because they are buying an approved product at the best price and best value for their dollar. Simply put, a GSA Schedule provides your company with a lot of opportunity.
Where to find the GSA Schedule application:
You can download a Schedule solicitation from the FedBizOpps website at www.fbo.gov. Once the application is complete and has been accepted you will be notified and awarded a GSA Schedule contract. This process will take approximately 90 days.
Congratulations! You are now able to sell your products or services to the government!
If you would like to contact the author of this blog, send an email to email@example.com and reference the title, "Is a GSA Schedule Right for my Business?"