Getting a GSA Schedule contract with the federal government is a long, complicated process that can be difficult to understand. We find that this process brings up a lot of questions, and we want to provide you with answers to make selling to the government as easy and effective as possible. Here are a few.
What does GSA stand for?
“GSA” stands for General Services Administration. It’s an office of the federal government that is in charge of product acquisitions, real estate, government procurement, business contracting and more. Established by President Harry Truman in 1949, its mission is to “Deliver value and savings in real estate, acquisition, technology, and other mission-support services across Government.”
What is a GSA Schedule contract?
A GSA Schedule is a long-term contract between commercial businesses and government entities throughout the United States that provides supplies and services to satisfy government needs at a fair and/or discounted price. It is also known as a Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contract or a Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contract. A Schedule is a primary vehicle by which private companies, particularly small businesses, can sell their products to the government and become part of the lucrative government supply marketplace. These contracts are open-ended and last five years, but they can be renewed up to twenty years. Companies must prove that they are capable of fulfilling their end of the contract in order to get on a Schedule, but once they have a Schedule, it becomes much easier to sell to the government at large.
Does my company need a GSA Schedule contract to sell to the government?
You are not required to have a Schedule contract to sell to the government. In fact, if your business does not have any experience selling to the government whatsoever, or if you’ve only been in business for a short time, it may be best to seek out open-market deals or subcontract with other companies first. However, Schedules are one of the biggest ways in which the government purchases products and supplies, so it might be beneficial to get on one if you want to regularly sell to the government.
Why should my company get on a GSA Schedule?
The GSA usually only approves companies for Schedule contracts when they have had reasonable experience selling to the government previously. However, once your business has this experience, it’s a good idea to look into getting on a Schedule contract, as it is much easier to sell to the government when you have one.
Once you’re on a Schedule, you will find that you still need to rigorously promote and market your product to the government, since these agencies are not obligated to purchase from you and there are plenty of competitors who will have the same products and services to offer at potentially better prices. But being on a Schedule is still to your advantage, because it opens up doors to selling throughout the entire government, including local and state agencies. Your business can also negotiate for deals through Schedules and have access to beneficial selling resources, such as:
- Blanket Purchase Agreements, in which your company fills a recurring need that the government has while also taking advantage of discounted production rates and purchasing power.
- Contractor Team Arrangements, in which your company partners with like-minded companies to provide a complete solution for a government need.
- GSA Advantage!® Marketplace, a hub of government purchasing where your company can offer its products to government buyers, and where you can do research on your competition and the needs the government currently has.
Does my company need help getting on a GSA Schedule?
Many businesses find that the process of getting a GSA Schedule contract is a bit of a hassle. They don’t want to spend lots of time applying and submitting proposals only to be rejected at the end, so they turn to GSA government contract consultants to help them. These organizations do the heavy lifting of navigating the legal and technical aspects of obtaining a contract and market your company and products to the government.
How GMP can help
Undergoing this process requires extensive knowledge of and experience in the field of government purchasing. At GMP, we’ve been doing this for twenty years. Unlike other contract-managing organizations that partner with businesses to obtain contracts, we take the pressure out of the situation by holding the contracts ourselves and selling your company’s products to the government based on our reputation and capabilities, rather than yours. We will come alongside your business to plan and market your product so that the government will see it as a viable solution. We are a veteran-owned and -operated prime government contractor with several GSA Schedule contracts of our own, and with our experience and level of government connection, we can get your products into the hands of government buyers. For more information, contact us today!