A GSA contract is not a single application process alot of hours go into creating a proposal that represents your business. Once you receive the contract it does not mean that you are guaranteed cash flow. There are thousands of GSA contract holders, more than half of those vendors have not accumulated revenue on a continual basis. The main reason why is that they are not working the program. One of the great myths to pursing a GSA contract is that vendors believe that within one to three months a large amount of revenue will be available, that is so far from the truth. Spending thousands of dollars for a consultant to help you obtain award and then not work the program makes no sense. If you have a good consultant they can put you on the right path, but you have to work it.
There are so many steps a contractor needs to take prior to pursuing a GSA contract. I cannot stress enough how important it is to build a pipeline of strong connects in the federal arena. People change positions everyday, the person you knew yesterday may have left and someone new has taken their place, you need to get to know these people on your own. Make a strong determination of how you are going to maneuver your way in the federal marketplace, this includes devising a strategy that works well with you and your business. Be sure to follow through with what you have proposed because how you start off in the business is normally how you end up.
In a perfect world everybody is looking out for your best interest, in reality you the vendor have to put on your feelers for the best appropriate guidance in the federal market. It takes a vendor anywhere from 24 to 48 months after contract award to reach your return on investment. Yes, a GSA contract is a streamlined process to gaining access to commercial products and services, but you have to work the program to see results. It is just like starting a business it takes time for you to grow, that is same process for working with GSA contracts it is not a quick fix. Just to summarize:
- Build relationships within the federal marketplace and make strong, reliable connections before pursuing a contract.
- Devise a solid strategy that gives your business room to grow anywhere from 24 to 48 months after contract award.
- Follow through with what you have proposed.
- Work the program.
This is a post from consultant, Ilene Giles, Founder of Procurement Source Solutions. Ilene provides GSA government contract assistance to small to medium sized businesses within the United States. If you like this post please feel free to share we just ask that you reference Ms. Giles when you do so, and please don’t forget to tell us what you think of this post.