Getting your GSA contract award is just the tip of the ice berg in the government contract process. In order to accumulate revenue and build a presence in the federal market there are several steps you must take, and if you want to be successful a lot of hard work is required. GSA currently has over 19,000 vendors and growing who have Multiple Award Schedules, and many of those vendors have not built a successful contract. If you have invested the time and money to get your contract then it would be logical to make something of it. Here are five steps that can get you started in building a successful GSA contract:
Build Relationships– Once you have your contract it is best that you educate yourself of the agency point of contacts such as the Contracting Officer who will be managing your contract after award. This person will be reviewing any modifications, sales reporting and compliance issues regarding your contract and the main “go to” person. The Industrial Operations Analyst is another person you should get to know. This person will be conducting the contractor assistance visits, which is not an audit. Your CAV visits is for the purpose of verifying that you are in compliance of the terms and conditions of your contract. Getting to know these individuals will let the agency know that you are serious about making the contract successful and it will put you at ease providing you a sense of what type of environment you will be dealing with throughout the tenure of the contract.
Understand the T&C’s of your contract– By time of award you should have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions that you have negotiated with the agency regarding your contract. It is best that you make yourself familiar with those terms because they are strictly adhered to by the agency. Maintain all documentation between your firm and the agency verbally and/or written.
Maintain Compliance– Keep the agency abreast of any changes by updating your contract on a regular basis helps the agency as well as your business. You will also need to update your registrations on an annual basis through System for Award Management (SAM) go maintain compliance. Ensure that you have a digital certificate to make needed modifications, digital certificates are needed to report modifications to your Senior Contracting Officer. If you have hired a consultant to obtain award of your contract then it is a fine chance that you do not have a digital certificate. You can obtain a certificate through http://www.identrust.com/gsa/index.html.
Market your Business– It is important that you know once you have a GSA contract GSA is not the only vendor to purchase goods and services from your company. Having a GSA contract allows for a more streamlined way for government agencies worldwide to purchase from you at any time, so marketing your business to government customers makes you a viable asset in the federal arena. Maximizing your presence at government networking functions, internet, face-to-face introductions, etc is a large part of building a successful GSA contract.
Familiarize Yourself With Resources In The Federal Market– Educating your personnel and yourself on federal market resources available to vendors can have an impact on your overall success. GSA, SBA, Department of Defense, procurement technical assistance centers, and consultants can be a source of free information to government contractors so get out there and make yourself known.
If you are having difficulty managing your GSA contract and require assistance contact me now! Ilene Giles your, “GSA Proposal Maven” for guidance. I am a former GSA Contract Specialist with over twenty years of GSA government contract experience. Visit me at http://gsaproposalmaven.com, or call 800-267-7640 x 101. I look forward to us getting acquainted 🙂