Is the GSA Schedule Right For My Business?

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Is the GSA Schedule Right For My Business?

The GSA Multiple Award Schedule Program is known as the “Schedule.” These businesses on the GSA Schedule gives access to millions of commercial products and services to federal, and educational institutions through this program. There are several benefits if you have a GSA Schedule. The most significant advantage is that your pricing is pre-approved.

Let’s take a step back and talk about what the GSA Schedule is before we go any further. The General Services Administration (GSA) is a federal government agency responsible for managing real estate, government buildings, and developing policies and regulations. They are also responsible for providing product and service procurement support. GSA Schedules are long term government contracts with businesses to provide access to commercial products and services.

GSA Schedules

The GSA Multiple Award Schedule Program is known as the “Schedule.” These businesses on the GSA Schedule gives access to millions of commercial products and services to federal, and educational institutions through this program.  

What Percentage of Government Spending Goes to GSA Schedules?

GSA Schedules do not have a set percentage that must be spent by the government using this program. However, overall roughly 21 percent of total federal procurement spending is spent utilizing this program. That is $108 Billion a year.

Benefits of Obtaining a GSA Schedule

There are several benefits if you have a GSA Schedule. The most significant advantage is that your pricing is pre-approved. Also, GSA has vetted your technical capabilities. No more wondering if the government is going to say that your business does not have the technical skills to perform on the contract. Plus, you have access to exclusive GSA Tools and opportunities. Lastly, you have access to marketing tools and visibility through GSA’s website.

1st Benefit

Obtaining a GSA Schedule contract can open doors for your business, but it does come at a cost. It requires a significant effort and commitment on your part to capitalize on this opportunity.

2nd Benefit

Your business is now exposed to a whole new world. Any federal agency can go to the GSA website and search for a product. Next thing you know you have orders coming in.

3rd Benefit

You can easily adjust your contract. This is accomplished through contract modifications. It is important that you keep your price list up to date.

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If you would like to read a book on GSA Schedules we have included a link for you. If you prefer to listen to an audiobook click this link. In a full disclaimer, we will receive a commission if you select the link. We use the money received from these Ads to support our blogging efforts.

The Downside of Obtaining a GSA Schedule

1st Negative

As with any program, there are pluses and minuses to any program. The same is true with the GSA Schedule. The most significant downside is the length of time that it can take to get approved and accepted on the Schedule. For instance, it can take upwards to a year to get approved.

2nd Negative

Another downside is that it can be difficult to work through the processes of obtaining a Schedule. Even though the forms are available online unless you are already familiar with GSA it can be a complicated task.

3rd Negative

After you are on the Schedule complying with the terms and conditions of your Schedule. If you are not familiar with this make sure to reach out to your GSA representative and get your questions answered. For example, it might be difficult to maintain documentation.

4th Negative

Many small businesses fail to understand the administrative burdens that are required once on a Schedule. For instance, quarterly reports, GSA Advantaged (SIP) uploads and contractor assessments.

5th Negative

Another negative is the minimum sales requirements. You must comply with these requirements or you will be removed from the Schedule.

Sixth Negative

The last negative is that the government is always changing and as a result if can be difficult for a business to keep up with these changes. Next, we will look at the requirements to qualify for the Program.

Minimum Requirements to Apply for GSA Schedule

In order to apply for a Schedule, your business must have two years of financial statements. If you have not been in business for two years, then you will have to wait. Are there exceptions to the two-year requirement? Yes, but you will have to go to the GSA website for more information.

The next requirement is measurable past performance. Your business must have related experience with three or more federal contracts that have ratings available through the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System known as CPARS. Now if you don’t have any federal experience you can use references from six or more previous customers.

If you have not officially started your business, then this program is not for you at this moment in time. I would wait a minimum of two years then apply.

When Should you Consider a GSA Schedule?

We all know that the GSA Schedule is an excellent tool to grow your business. However, figuring when you should be looking at this Schedule is another matter. If you currently are working for government agencies, then you may want to consider getting on the Schedule. Also, if your federal clients are asking if you are on a GSA Schedule then it is time. Do your competitors have a GSA Schedule? Lastly, did your market research indicates that a GSA Schedule might be valuable?

Summary – GSA Schedule

The GSA Schedule is an excellent tool to help grow your business but only if your business can handle the additional workload. I am not talking about contracts here. I am talking about the administrative burden required of this program. If the answer is no, then wait a while and reevaluate later. If yes, then get started because it will take a year to get on the Schedule.

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 We have partnered with Amazon and Audible.

If you would like to read a book on GSA Schedules we have included a link for you. If you prefer to listen to an audiobook click this link. In a full disclaimer, we will receive a commission if you select the link. We use the money received from these Ads to support our blogging efforts.

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