I am in the business of getting companies a GSA Contract, and Maintaining those contracts. But I will be the first to admit that it isn’t for everyone, and I assess every company that call me before beginning the massive undertaking of getting them on schedule.
The truth is that there are six very real reasons a company should not pursue a GSA contract. And here they are:
1) Less than 2 years corporate experience – If your company has not been around for at least two years, then you will not be able to fulfill the GSA requirement of providing financial statements for the past two years. Therefore, you will have to wait.
2) Financial issues – The GSA has put great scrutiny over the past year towards debt and losses. Your GSA Contracting Officer will look at your Current Ratio (from your Balance Sheet), and also evaluate any losses your company has experienced (from your Income Statement). If you have very low sales within the past 2 years, then this can compound the problems. This is not necessarily going to prevent you from getting on schedule, but it will make for some obstacles.
3) Project experience – The GSA will not allow any companies on contract without a good deal of experience in their field, as well as the documentation to back it up. If your company is service-based, and you are very bad at record-keeping, then getting a GSA Contract will be much more difficult for you. Just something to consider.
4) No schedule or SINs for your products/services -Some products and services just aren’t represented on a GSA Schedule. There is always a chance of sneaking in on an “Other” category, but it may end bad, and you should consider that from the start.
5) No resources to pursue federal business - If you have a good number of federal customers, then getting a GSA Contract will undoubtedly increase sales and make you more appetizing to your current federal buyer friends. However, if you are going to be emerging into the federal market, then you will need resources available to locate potential projects, prepare bids, follow-up with customers, administer your GSA Contract and much more. The point is, if you cannot allocate these resources to grow the federal segment of your business, then don’t even start to try.
6) The Trade Agreement Act – Some people call me and everything is fine so far, but then I ask them a few questions about their products or services and things turn sour. You don’t have to only offer ‘Made in America’ products, in fact there is a huge list of trade-eligible countries; However, your products must be made in countries that are on the “List.” for more information on the “List” check out this older blogpost (note that this list may be outdated, research on your own).