Who Can Help Get GSA Certified

Who Can Help Get GSA Certified

Ok, getting on a GSA Schedule is a non-trivial business. Let’s face it: if you have little or no experience in cooperating with government agencies and working under terms of GSA contract compliance, you will have hard times getting on a GSA Schedule. There are available resources you can leverage to help yourself secure that lucrative GSA contract. 

Check if you Qualify to be a GSA Contractor

On the other hand, you don’t have to go through the process of getting a SA Schedule all alone. In this article we explain how to get on a schedule, and what the benefits are of getting on a schedule. Also, we answer some common questions in the FAQ section to assist you in understanding the GSA contracting principles and getting certified easier.

GSA: Getting on Schedule

For a small business, the process of getting GSA Schedule sometimes looks all Greek: dozens of unknown abbreviations, complex and no-so-obvious procedures, strict formalism, and the wrong train of thought that GSA contracts are not for small businesses.

However, while indeed complex, the process of applying for a GSA contract is not impossible and is totally doable even by small businesses. Winning an actual award is a different story, but let’s start with getting on a Schedule.

GSA contractor requirements

There are a number of GSA Schedule eligibility requirements, most notable of which are:

  • Two years in business. Your company must do what it does for at least two years before applying for a schedule. There is a way, though, to apply earlier: the Springboard program.
  • Stable financial reports. A GSA contract must not be the last resort for your business to stay alive. Your company must confirm its financial health and stability.
  • GSA contract compliance. There are a number of compliance requirements your company and your products/services must meet.
  • Perfect past performance records. Your company must demonstrate good past relations with clients, and those clients must confirm they indeed worked with you.
  • Commercially available products. You cannot penetrate the federal market with a brand new product never sold on the commercial market before. The product you offer to the government must be commercially available.

Of course, there are other requirements. You should check the official GSA website for a complete list.

How to get a GSA Schedule contract, step by step

  1. Lay your knowledge groundwork. Read articles and blogs on GSA contacting. Visit official GSA contract help resources. Find local GSA training and education centers.
  2. Register your business officially if you haven’t done so already. You need DUNS, CAGE, NAICS codes.
  3. Register at SAM.gov. This step is required if you want to sell to the federal government.
  4. Complete obligatory training. This includes the Pathway to Success and Readiness Assessment courses.
  5. Prepare documents for application. You need to fill a number of forms and attach certain paperwork, including financial and organizational documents, sales reports, pricelists, the Letter of Supply, technical proposals, sales practices, compliance confirmation documents, and more.
  6. Submit documents. Finally, you need to submit your application and wait for the answer from the GSA contract specialist.

Surely, every step above has its own pitfalls. That is why you should prefer leveraging third-party help getting a GSA contract

Who can help getting a GSA Schedule?

While it is perfectly normal to attempt getting on a Schedule yourself, we recommend that you  get expert assistance instead. Truly, a seasoned GSA consultant can do wonders for your future GSA contract. Why? Thanks to experience, such a specialist can do the same work much faster than you would, as well as avoid all typical errors that newbie GSA contractors make. This can easily save you months of reviewing, re-submitting and re-reviewing of your application. Then, GSA experts often have proven communication approaches to GSA officers, so they can help you negotiate better prices. They also can lend some help if something goes wrong with your contract, speed up GSA certification and can help you manage your GSA Schedule as well.

F.A.Q.

How can a company be successful without having a GSA Schedule?

You can sell via the Mentor/Protege program, or find a Prime GSA contractor. This way you don’t need a GSA Schedule, but can still sell to the government.

Are all GSA Schedule customer requirements vetted through SAM.gov?

No. Registering at SAM.gov is one of the initial steps. But the bulk of the process is the GSA Schedule application preparation, submission, and eventual approval. It includes price and quality evaluation.

Can my company act as a liaison with the GSA to assist vendors with applying for a GSA Schedule?

The GSA does not provide a legal mechanism for such liaison. This means that you still need to communicate with GSA officers yourself, even if you leverage the help of third-party agencies, such as Price Reporter.

What is necessary to re-register in beta.SAM.gov?

Normally, you need to renew your SAM.gov record periodically. However, it may be that your SAM.gov account has expired, and now needs to be re-registered. Here is how to do this. At first, locate your entity:

  1. Go to www.sam.gov.
  2. Click on “Search Records” at the top.
  3. Click on “Advanced Search – Entity” at the right.
  4. Look for the “Registration Status” line. Click the “Inactive” checkbox.
  5. Click the “Entity” checkbox.
  6. Search the records using your Entity Name, DUNS Number, or CAGE Code.

These steps let you find your entity.

Now you need to re-register at SAM.gov:

  1. Login to SAM.gov
  2. Click Register/Update Entity
  3. Click “Complete registrations”
  4. Locate the entity you want to update (re-register)
  5. Look for the “Register detail” section, then click “Update Entity”
  6. Fill in the required information. Make sure to provide correct contact data.
  7. Click “Submit”

Is there a list of upcoming training? How can I register?

You can look for upcoming seminars and training sessions at OSDBU Events and Contacts.

Where can I locate GSA’s forecast of contracting opportunities?

The Federal Business Forecast center displays future and possible contracting opportunities. Make sure to search through the website to find something of interest.

Conclusion

GSA certification is tough, but with decent professional help can be achieved rather smoothly. Hiring a consulting agency that will guide through all the nuances and pitfalls of GSA certification is not a sign of weakness, as some business owners may think. In fact, you save your time and money for more specific tasks your business should be completing, rather than on trying to grasp the basics of government contracting; the same government contracting that seasoned GSA specialists can do faster and more efficiently than you. Make the right choice, ask for help getting GSA-certified.

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