I was listening to a business book that came out in the past few years. The concept centered around when developing a business, the major question you need to ask yourself is, “Is this new business model 10x better than what currently exists in the marketplace?” If the answer is that it’s only 1 or 2 times better, go back to the drawing board. This is because only businesses that are 10x better takeover an industry.
So, I pose the question, “Is having a GSA Schedule 10x better than going into the federal space without a Schedule?” I think for some companies it most definitely is, and for others possibly not, but I am going to go over the benefits so that you can make this determination for your own company.
Sales (1x) – Small Business with a GSA Schedule average over $1 million dollars per year from their GSA Schedule.
Small Businesses need a Contracting Vehicle (2x) – A GSA Schedule provides a firm with a way for federal buyers to purchase from the small business vendor that is FAR compliant. Without a contracting vehicle, federal buyers have a hard time making a purchase.
Market Research Visibility (3x) – Federal buyers generally review at least three sources before making a purchasing decision. GSA Advantage, the web portal in which all GSA Schedule holders list their products, is the favorite site for this market research.
Access to a GSA only Bulletin Board (4x) – GSA eBuy is an online solicitation system (bulletin board) whereby federal buyers can place items out for bid. However, a firm must have a GSA Schedule in order to participate. This opens a whole new avenue in which to break into contracting with a particular agency.
Helps Position a Firm to get on other GWACs (5x) – Having a GSA Schedule provides the pricing basis for obtaining positions on other GWACs. The GSA MAS pricing can be used when applying for positions on other contracts.
Increases Subcontracting Opportunities (6x) – When a prime contractor uses a GSA Schedule Holder as a subcontractor, items purchased from the GSA schedule at schedule prices are not required to be audited. This saves prime contractors compliance effort. Additionally, holding a GSA Schedule shows the prime contractor that the firm is serious about federal contracting.
Enhancement of a Firm’s Value (7x) – My most successful clients often work with a single federal agency where they have established deep roots. In the federal space often times acquisitions occur in order to make inroads into a particular agency. A GSA Schedule allows a small business entrance into these agencies, creating root building opportunities, and in some cases, making the firm an acquisition target.
Allows a Firm to Quickly Add New Products and Services (8x) – When adding a new product or service to an existing GSA MAS Contract, the Schedule holder can submit a modification and add the new product.
Allows a Firm to Add non-schedule Items (9x) – When completing a contract that was originated utilizing a GSA Schedule, provided that the majority of the cost of completion of the project was from items purchased from the schedule, other items can be added to the contract provided they do not make up over half the cost.
Synergies between a GSA Schedule and SBA/VA Certification (10x) – 8(a), WOSB, HUBZone and SDVOSB Certification holders often find an increase in combined benefit by adding a GSA Schedule. The likely cause of this benefit is because during the market research process, the federal buyer identifies a certification holder as being able to meet the needs of the contract, and then places the contract out for sole source or set-aside contract and invites the GSA Schedule / SBA/VA Certification holder to participate.
If you have interest in exploring the seemingly limitless future business development that exists by having a GSA Schedule and/or 8(a) or other SBA/VA Certification, I always recommend contacting an industry expert such as Advance GSA or ez8a. Neither charge for an initial consultation.