a firm can significantly increase government sales opportunities by tapping into the General Services Administration (GSA). By getting onto a GSA schedule, a company can possibly minimize competition and save time. For example, GSA Schedules 84 & 70 let state and local governments buy from GSA contracts, removing competition from other integrators not on the schedule. Also, pricing is already covered by the schedule, which eliminates acquiring to negotiate every project and task order. A company with GSA Contract pricing displays federal buyers that the business is truly serious about operating with government projects, and a recognition or confirmation in the eyes of potential state, municipal and commercial customers.
What to Do to Get Into This Market
so you can get on a schedule, there are fees involved and, once listed, a company need to maintain a minimal level of business with the government. When bidding on federal contracts, the government agency expresses the project, and gives an overall view of what it should entail, usually at a defined budget. The company then wants to design the solution and, working with its contractors, detail how the project will be completed.
crafting tight relationships with manufacturers or subcontractors suited to government applications can be pretty advantageous for companies. It is not uncommon for the manufacturer — especially those with GSA approval — to be approached directly or otherwise learn of a project opportunity before it is publicly announced.
What Government Customers Want
Like end users in other markets, government customers are shopping for turnkey solutions. GSA Contractors can separate themselves from traditional dealers and service providers by suggesting specialized and complete solutions. Understanding and helping these clients meet compliance requirements is another key element.
Challenges Working in This Sector
the simple fact that compliance is such an important aspect for a government marketer makes it imperative companies maintain complete and accurate records of everything. All things considered, no matter how much push there is to simplify or streamline processes, this market will likely always have a certain degree of bureaucracy. make sure that your company is meeting all compliance requirements, from quoting and bidding with compliant products and making sure the backup paperwork to the bid has the required documentation.
Just as vital as written details are verbal communications. Government organizations could be complex with multiple points of contact, which makes frequent dialogue that spells out everything essential to ensuring clarity for all parties. An additional and substantial consideration associated in engaging in government business is contending with extended timelines. Large projects will stretch out for long periods of time. This means a company requirements to have sufficient cash flow to withstand bidding, design, installation, change orders and final walk through before receiving final payment for the contract.
The government goes steadily and slowly. The bidding process can go on for three months or more. A company can actuallysave time by creating a series of templates that can be saved and then cut and pasted into their proposals. Each bidding proposal may well create more templates that can then be stored and available for future proposals.