The decision has been made – your company needs to hold a GSA Schedule Contract in order to build your federal business. Now the question is: how will you go about obtaining this contract? Consider how quickly you need a GSA Contract, as well as the experience and availability of in-house resources. Is your staff well-versed on federal procurement regulations and the intricacies of the GSA Schedule solicitations? Do you have the ability to devote significant time to proposal preparation, negotiation, and post-award maintenance?
In terms of lost time, pulled resources, and missed opportunities, it typically costs a company more in the long run to handle the GSA Schedule proposal process in-house. Before making a decision, consider these core reasons for outsourcing the process of obtaining a GSA Schedule Contract:
Time & Cost
Time and cost go hand in hand; the longer your company is without a GSA Schedule Contract, the higher the cost of missed opportunities. Obtaining a contract award is the most time-consuming component of selling to the government. The preparation and negotiation process is complex. In fact, many businesses will spend a year or more developing their proposal.
Pulling resources from other priorities, as well as a prolonged process – and sometimes unsuccessful negotiations – due to a lack of familiarity with the process are all significant costs associated with obtaining a government contract – GSA Schedule Contracts included.
Beyond costing you time, inexperience can result in errors that cause your proposal to be rejected. According to GSA, 60% of all offers are initially rejected. While you may resubmit your proposal at any time, it is essentially placed “back in line” to undergo the review process again. With GSA experiencing an overload in new offers, once your proposal is submitted, you may wait up to twelve months before your offer is reviewed again. Can your company afford the potential loss of business during the time it takes to correct your proposal, resubmit, and await review?
A GSA Schedule Contract provides your company with a competitive advantage over those without a Schedule, but what advantage do you hold over companies like yours that also hold a Schedule? The development of your proposal – and pricing strategies in particular – will dictate your success and ability to compete with other GSA Schedule Contractors. The pricing, terms, and conditions your company negotiates will serve as a foundation for your GSA Schedule sales program for a potential twenty years. Too often companies will spend over a year to secure a Contract Award, only to discover they cannot profitably maintain the pricing they have negotiated.
Combined with a well planned marketing strategy and experienced government sales staff, a GSA Schedule Contract can play a significant role in increasing government sales. Hiring a company that specializes in the contract is an investment in your future success.
A qualified GSA Schedule consultant does more than save your company time. A reputable GSA Schedule Consultant will:
- Educate you on the proposal process,
- Develop a proposal that aligns with your business objectives,
- Represent your company at GSA,
- Prepare you for post-award contract requirements, and
- Provide you with best practices for utilizing your GSA Schedule Contract
Unless your company has dedicated contracts staff with specific experience with GSA Schedule solicitations, hiring a consultant can be a worthwhile investment.