What to Do After Getting a GSA Schedule

What Comes with a GSA Schedule?

It is done! Finally, your efforts have paid off with spades, and you are now the proud owner of a brand new GSA Schedule contract. Is it time to open a bottle of champagne and get complacent? Or is there anything else you should do after getting a GSA Schedule? You bet! In fact, the work merely begins now.

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Top 8 things you should do after securing a GSA Schedule:

1. Register on GSA Advantage!

Registering on GSA Advantage! is a necessary (and obligatory) step for any GSA Schedule contract holder. GSA Advantage is an online platform where federal, state, municipal and local buyers can search for products and services offered within the GSA Schedule.

Registering at GSA Advantage has two major benefits. First, government clients will be able to look for your goods and services and purchase them from you. Second, after registering at GSA Advantage your company will be listed in the GSA eLibrary online list of GSA contractors. Your personal page at the eLibrary website allows you to market your products, services and supplies to federal buyers.

2. Keep updating you pricelist and product catalog

The key to long-term success with your GSA Schedule contract is to remain relevant. Your GSA Advantage pricelist must be up-to-date and actual, and so should your product catalog. Well, in fact there are no penalties or immediate bad consequences if you do not update your GSA Advantage prices on time. But eventually, such ignorance may result in missed opportunities. You see, among all other things, your GSA contract regulates the way you modify prices, conditions, or product and service availability. You are simply not allowed to sell a product if its price according to the GSA pricelist is different from your commercial pricelist (save for the GSA discount).

Also, make sure to keep your contact and administrative information actual and up to date. You don’t want to miss an important notification or an RFQ just because the e-mail address in your GSA Advantage profile is outdated.

3. Build your brand

Just like on the commercial market, your success on the government market strongly depends on brand awareness. That is why you should also put efforts into building your brand for the federal buyers. Try to establish an association between your brand name and the product you offer. In the long run this will help you promote your products and cut down your overall marketing costs.

There are dozens of techniques you can use to help your brand name spread. Here are some of them:

  • Talk about your brand everywhere. E-mails, texts on your own websites and third-party online resources, documents you print or send online, etc.
  • A blog or a social network page to publish news in your industry is a great idea.
  • Form your unique identity including logo, style, typography, pitches, advertising slogans etc.
  • Underscore your capability as a government contractor, wherever you can.
  • Support your brand name by participating in various GSA events and conferences.
  • Place your hard-earned ‘GSA Approved’ logo, literally everywhere.

4. Keep your website up to date

While your offers are represented in the GSA Advantage catalog now, you still need to pay attention to updating your own website. In fact, it is crucial to display your ability to present your products and services to clients, be that commercial or governmental ones. You may have a perfectly attuned back office, but if your front page looks like it has time-warped straight from 2007, you will hardly impress anyone. A modern-looking, perfectly-functioning website confirms your capability to accept new clients and to deliver A-class services to the existing ones.

5. Pay the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF)

Important thing you should never forget about is your Industrial Funding Fee. What is it? We had thoroughly explained it in this article. Long story short, this is a cost of GSA’s services that is already included in the government market price. If you fail to pay the 0.75% IFF, you will also fail to comply with the terms of your GSA contract and will risk losing it.

6. Take care of your customers

When doing business on the federal market, your customers are various federal agencies. GSA clients may not be the easiest type of a customer to work with, but you are still required to make them happy. Taking care of your government customers is a pledge of good GSA sales in the long run. How to do this? Make sure to comply with the FAR requirements. Understand the needs and pains of your clients. Speak their language. Be proactive and offer solutions before they even ask for it. And finally, deliver a bit more than the contract obliges you to; may be some additional packaging, or a friendly service. And if you anticipate requests , do provide the solutions early. This helps you build your reputation as a reliable and responsible GSA Schedule contract holder and promotes further success on the federal market.

7. Build relationships

One more thing you should dedicate some time to, even after your Schedule contract is secured, is building good relationships with the GSA contracting officer assigned to you. Networking with your potential federal, state and local buyers, as well as your potential GSA partners and subcontractors is essential too. You can start building your network of communications even before you apply for a Schedule, but you should not stop after you are awarded. Thanks to your network of contacts, you can find potential contracting opportunities easier, and hence make more sales through your GSA Schedule contract.

8. Market your contract

More than 60% of GSA contract holders cannot actually make a single sale. Ever. Turns out, it is simply not enough to win a contract, the work is not yet done at that stage. What was wrong with all those vendors who failed to secure at least some sales? How can YOU avoid the same fate of your GSA Schedule contract? The answer is: you should market it. Promoting and marketing your GSA contract is as essential as advertising your products or services on the commercial market.

There are a number of marketing tools and approaches you can use. You certainly need to research your competitors, monitor actual trends, participate in various GSA programs and events, advertise your contract using any available channel, and so on. Please refer to this article on marketing your GSA contract for more information.

Conclusion

GSA contracting does not end after you are awarded. There is a lot more to do before your GSA Schedule Contract becomes profitable. Surely, it could be hard to successfully encompass all the required activities, especially if it is your first award. That is why it may be worthwhile to ask for help from a specialized GSA agency, like Price Reporter, that possesses vast experience in GSA contracting, and can help you both with getting your GSA Schedule contract, and with marketing it afterwards.

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