Know The Ways To Succeed As a Small Business Through a GSA Schedule In 2022
Selling products and services to the government agencies of the United States can be overwhelming for new and small businesses. It is due to the lengthy and complex process to obtain federal contracts from federal agencies. If you can become a GSA Schedule contractor then you will be able to have access to several tools and contracting opportunities. Your company will come under the consideration of the federal agencies or government organizations if you have a small business. That is why GSA for small businesses can be helpful to obtain government contracts and flourish in the federal market of the United States.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) of the United States has developed several programs to help small businesses win government contracts. You will be getting online tools to use, set-aside contracts to obtain, and mentoring programs to get guidance. There are a lot of other options for a small business in the federal marketplace. Therefore, understand the opportunities and take the advantage of them.
In this blog, we will be discussing the ways to leverage your small business size in the competitive market of federal contracting to ensure that you meet the company’s goals. By the end of this blog, you will be able to understand the importance of GSA for small businesses.
Is your small business qualified?
At first, you will need to make sure that your company qualifies as a small business. In the very beginning, you will need to register your GSA Schedule on sam.gov. The site is the primary database for the federal contractors or commercial companies that are working with the federal government of the United States. In order to register your company, you need to have a DUNS number. The full form of the DUNS number is Data Universal Number System, assigned by Dun and Bradstreet Inc. in the United States.
After you get registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) you will need to choose NAICS codes. Your NAICS code must fit your firm/company. The NAICS codes are utilized by the federal government to identify and classify your company for the best contracting fit. Request for Quotes (RFQs) and Request for Information (RFI) are put out by the federal agencies by utilizing the NAICS codes.
Determine if your company qualifies as a small business to take advantage of opportunities for that definite NAICS code. Utilize every resource from the SBA and GSA to help you succeed in the federal market.
Contracting tools to use
To find small business contractors for upcoming contracts the government agencies use a database called the Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS). Small businesses can also utilize this database to find other similar kinds of small businesses to work collaboratively. The Small Business Administration (SBA) manages the Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) database. Make sure to create a comprehensive profile because the information that you provide while registering your business in the System for Award Management (SAM) is used to populate the DSBS database.
Get information on planned federal contracting opportunities from the GSA Forecast of Contracting Opportunities Tools. The tools give assistance for acquisition planning by helping vendors learn about the potential prime government contracting opportunities early in the process. Due to all these reasons, GSA for small businesses is highly considered to obtain government contracts.
Contracting opportunities for small businesses
You got to know about the contracting tools, now it is time to know the government contracting opportunities that you can get as a small business in the United States. We will mention and explain all the contracting opportunities so keep reading. These contracting opportunities for small businesses are mentioned below:
- Small business set-aside contracts.
- Subcontracting opportunities.
- Joint ventures.
- Contractor Team Arrangement.
- Mentor-Protégé Program.
Now let’s understand these opportunities in detail.
Small business set-aside contracts
The government of the United States prioritizes the small businesses that participate in government contracts. The U.S. government set aside specific contracts only for small businesses. It limits the competition because only small businesses are allowed to bid and compete for obtaining such government contracts.
Some set-aside contracts are reserved for specific socioeconomic categories of small businesses as well. These include women-owned, 8a business development, service-disabled veteran-owned, and HUBZone. If your business falls under any of these categories then you should get certified. You should need to choose a program that suits your small business.
If you are unable to obtain government contracts as a prime contractor then you can also opt for working as a subcontractor in the federal market. Subcontracting opportunities allow small businesses to sell products and services to government agencies by partnering with a business that has already acquired and working on a GSA Schedule. To find potential large prime business contractors, use GSA eLibrary and GSA’s subcontracting directory. As a small business, you should contact prime contractors directly. So your company can find business opportunities by utilizing the subcontracting facility of the GSA.
Multiple small businesses can work collaboratively by forming a joint venture to compete in the federal market for obtaining federal contracts. Joint ventures of multiple small businesses can also get set-aside contracts from the U.S. government. For that, the joint ventures must have documentation that meets the requirements of the Small Business Administration (SBA).
If a small business has a Mentor-Protégé relationship through the All Small Mentor-Protégé program can form a joint venture with a mentor. The joint ventures can compete together in the federal market to win government contracts that are reserved for small businesses. A joint venture is also allowed to bid on government contracts that are set aside for service-disabled veteran-owned, women-owned, or HUBZone businesses. Just make sure to meet the requirements of the SBA.
Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA)
The Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA) is an arrangement of a GSA Schedule in which two or more GSA Schedule contractors can team together to provide a solution to meet the needs of a customer. With the Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA) contractors can team up to compete for orders for which they may not qualify independently. To meet the requirements of the buyers, the GSA encourages the use of CTAs. The Schedule CTA does not create a separate legal entity instead it allows Schedule contractors to meet the requirements of the buyers by combining the supplies or services from each team member’s separate Schedule contract. It can be done by responding to the Request for Quote (RFQ) of a buyer.
By using a CTA, the government buyers the following things.
- Get a total solution from contractors who team together to complement each other.
- Satisfy socio-economic procurement goals.
By forming CTA, GSA Schedule contractors can:
- Compete for Schedule orders for which they are not qualified independently.
- Become more competitive by increasing their market share.
- Reduce risk by sharing responsibilities with other team members.
- Concentrate on the supplies and services that match their company’s strength and resources.
The Mentor-Protégé program offers small businesses a chance to learn from an experienced government contractor. The first term of a Mentor-Protégé agreement can last up to three years. As long as the relationships don’t conflict or compete with each other a Protégé may have two mentors. After the SBA approves your agreement, you must maintain the Mentor-Protégé relationship. The Small Business Administration (SBA) relies on an annual evaluation report. It helps the SBA to determine if businesses can continue to participate in the program or not.
Learn to take advantage as a small business
If you have a small business and you think that you cannot compete with the large and established companies or federal contractors then your perception is wrong. Actually, you don’t need to compete with the larger competitors because the government has developed several programs for federal contractors to win government contracts. GSA for small businesses is the popular one in the federal market. For small businesses government has the programs that limit competition, keep set aside contracts, provide a few percentages of the funds annually, and many more.
All you need to do is to find the scope of getting the advantages as a small business in the federal market.
So, leverage your small business to maximize its potential to compete in the federal market and win contracts. We have given a lot of information because aspiring federal contractors and small businesses need to know all the options to do business with the government agencies. You need to market your company and grab the federal contracting opportunities.