Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Things we have learned since getting onto the Federal GSA Schedule

It has been quite the learning curve, figuring out the best ways to market to the Federal Government, as well as learning how the GSA process works. Here are some of the things we have learned so far…

1. You do get to see bid opportunities prior to the general public, although sometimes they have a short turn around time
2. Your questions often get answered immediately
3. You still have no guarantee of winning the bid
4. You can still ask for a debrief if you are not awarded the bid
5. If you have a positive relationship with a contracting officer and the bid is less than $15,000 they can send the request for a quote out to three organizations on the GSA Schedule and select one of them for the award
6. Relationships, relationships, relationships - they are always the answer for growing your business, even with the government

If you are already registered to do business with the government and are interested in getting onto the GSA Schedule as a small business, check out There are many businesses that will write up your application for you for a fee, but if you want to do it yourself, there is help. We used the local Federal Technology Center and the gentleman we worked with was more than helpful. It took over a year to finally get approved but it finally happened. It is now up to us to keep up with all the different ways to find opportunities to work with the government. They include:

• Contacting contracting officers who have sent out bids for services similar to what we offer
• Researching the budget forecasts for agencies that plan meetings and events

If you are thinking of working with the Federal Government, there are some new programs that are being targeted for woman owned small businesses that are designed to be set-asides for those services and products where women are underrepresented. Check with your local SBA office and they can you started.

~ Linda Begbie • Executive Director, RDL enterprises