GSA for Small Businesses: IT Contract

GSA IT Contract

Small IT companies:  do they even have a chance of acquiring a GSA IT 70 Schedule? The answer is yes. With GSA’s support for small business winning a government contract in IT segment, such as GSA IT 70, this is absolutely realistic.

Check if you Qualify to be a GSA Contractor

Government contracts for IT

Schedule 70 GSA schedule is historically one of the most profitable GSA procurement categories. And one of the most competitive ones, too. However, there is a good chance you can win a GSA IT contract even if your business is a small one.

What does the GSA consider a small business?

First things first to ask is how does the GSA define a small business? There is a size standard for each particular NAICS code, so if your company meets that standard, it is considered a small business. Generally speaking, if your company has either less than 500 employees or if its annual receipts do not exceed $7.5 million, this is considered a small business, by the GSA.

How do I get a government contract for a small business in the US?

The process of acquiring a contract in GSA 70 Schedule is similar to any other GSA Scheduling:

  1. Register your business entity officially, get the Tax ID.
  2. Get NAICS and CAGE codes.
  3. Register as a small business at SBA.gov.
  4. Complete obligatory training.
  5. Gather the required document package and submit it to the GSA for a review.
  6. Once your application is confirmed, place bids and respond to RFP and other government contract vehicles at eBuy and GSA Advantage platforms, to win an award.

Is getting on GSA worth it?

It depends. On the one hand, there are some contractors who fail to make even a single sale through their GSA contracts. Why? Weak marketing efforts, poor understanding of the GSA’s small business procurement strategy, wrong bidding strategy, non-competitive proposals, and other mistakes.

On the other hand, there were over $20 billion spent in the Internet Technologies MAS category in FY 2021, with about 37% of contract sales won by small businesses. And the average annual revenue in 2021 reported by the agency was $2.8 million.

Can you get your share of this huge market? This depends on how well you have prepared. You need a lot of preliminary groundwork to become successful on the federal market. Leveraging professional GSA contract help is also a good idea. Having an experienced specialist at your side, you can win an award much faster and with less effort, not to mention that a GSA expert can help you easily avoid many mistakes, typical to new GSA small business contractors.

GSA Business Opportunities

What is a GSA Schedule 70 contract?

This is a former name of the new GSA MAS Large category, i.e. Information Technology. Just like any schedule, this is a long-term government contract awarded to a business. It allows this business to offer its products and services to federal, state and local agencies.

Specifically, the IT 70 MAS contract covers IT services, IT Software, IT Hardware, IT Solutions, IT Training, E-commerce, and Telecommunications sub-categories.

The type of contract in the IT category is Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) which means there are no predefined values of offered products or services, and the contract is a Government-Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC). Overall, this means that once you are awarded, you can sell indefinite quantities to many federal agencies under the same contract.

GSA’s new small business IT contract

In December 2020, GSA announced a new type of government-wide acquisition vehicle called Polaris. Now, the GSA finally  releases this IT contract type for small businesses.

What is Polaris, exactly? Polaris is a GWAC that provides federal agencies a simpler and more efficient way to procure complex IT services and products that require highly qualified personnel and are based on the latest IT technologies. Common examples are cyber security solutions, cloud platforms, custom software development and such.

GSA’s mission here is to simplify proposal submission and at the same time deliver a better way for the government customers to measure quality of the proposed services and solutions, via the self-assessment score system.

Polaris works as follows. Upon submitting a bid, GSA contractors will undergo the self-scoring process and assign points based on relevant experiences, past performance, systems, certifications and clearances, and risk assessments. The higher the score, the more chance to win a spot in one of four Polaris spools, where the first spool is for unrestricted businesses and the other three are, respectively: HUBZone businesses, SDVOSB, and WOSB.

Then, government buyers can screen through Polaris spools to locate pre-vetted contractors with the highest scores, and hence the best qualification and experience. A similar scoring system was previously used for Services Multi-Agency Contracts, such as Aliant, OASIS and others. 

Importantly, pricing is not a part of the assessment at the preliminary step, scoring is based exclusively on contractors’ experience and qualifications.

How do I start a GSA business?

Today, starting a business with the GSA is a realistic opportunity for small businesses in the US. With all the small business support programs held by the GSA and Small Business Administration, the government awards a lot of contracts to small businesses. And your business  can also be one of them. 

If you don’t know where to start from, make sure to contact our GSA consultants. Price Reporter has been helping businesses win government contracts for 15 years already. We will be happy to help you as well.

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  • Experience is everything when it comes to acquiring any MAS and through our experience these are the most important suggestions:
    Prepare your business.
    Before you can apply for government contracts, make sure your business matches rules and requirements set out by the GSA’s. Your business must be legitimate, registered, have a Tax ID and a UEI number. You must also register your business at SAM.gov, in order to be able to submit your application for a GSA IT Schedule. Another more important step is training. Before the GSA allows you to become a contractor, it requires you to complete a training course called “The Pathway to Success”.
    Prepare documents.
    Applying for a Schedule requires you to submit over 30 documents to GSA. The document package must include financial statements for the past two years, organizational documents, price lists, price narrative that grounds your price list, compliance documents, technical specifications etc. In addition, there are a number of forms to fill out. Every document in the package must be arranged in a very specific way, so reading the solicitation carefully is a must. The document package is then submitted via the eOffer platform.
    Negotiation.
    Your submission is reviewed by a CO. On average this may take from a few weeks to months, as the government representatives will carefully check every document, and the statement you have made carefully. A contracting officer may have questions regarding your submission or may request additional supporting documents or clarifications. This is why the prime factor of a successful award is a perfect document package. After the document package has been reviewed and accepted, the negotiation phase begins. Terms & conditions, and discounts of the contract are negotiated.
    Post award.
    Even though you can now offer your IT products and services to federal buyers, you should understand that the award merely opens the door. Now it is up to you to turn this opportunity to your advantage. Self-education, government marketing, competition analysis – there’s so much to do. If you feel overwhelmed, don’t worry. There are professionals around that are glad to help. Price Reporter has been helping vendors to win and maintain government contracts including GSA Schedule 70 IT for years. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.

  • What suggestions do you have for the IT Schedule 70 program?

  • For a company to qualify and compete for the IT Schedule 70, they must first visit https://sam.gov and download an entire solicitation under the solicitation number FCIS-JB-980001-B. Thereafter you must also privide the following:
    UEI number
    Obtain a Digital Certificate
    Register on “System for Award Management” (SAM)
    Prepare the offering:
    Evaluation factors
    Complete SF1449
    Vendor response document
    Commercial price list
    Production point
    Commercial Sales Practices Format (CSP-1)
    Labor category matrix (for services only)
    Proposed Economic Price Adjustment (EPA) mechanism
    Proposed price list (Offered Pricing)
    Open Ratings Past Performance Evaluation

  • What do you need to conclude the GSA IT MAS Schedule?

  • GSA IT Schedule 70 allows government buyers to purchase directly from a contractor’s GSA Schedule 70 contract, doing away with unnecessary, time-consuming, and lengthy negotiations. Benefits include:
    Easy to use: IT Schedule 70 affords you access to a streamlined online ordering system using Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs).
    Extensive training opportunities, and responsive regional GSA representatives.
    Assistance with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) compliance.
    Teaming: fixes Contractor Team Arrangements (CTAs), enabling industry partners to collaborate and offer a total solution to satisfy specific customer needs and requirements.

  • What are the features and benefits of the GSA IT MAS Schedule?

  • You can receive orders from the following platforms:
    GSA Advantage & GSA eLibrary
    GSA eBuy & e-Resolve

  • How to Order From GSA IT Schedule?

  • Yes. At Price Reporter we provide support in getting a MAS IT Schedule by helping to prepare your business, guiding your company in preparing the documents required by the GSA, negotiations on your behalf and complete post award support coverage.

  • How does Price Reporter support in getting an MAS IT Schedule?

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