GSA schedules pre-qualify contractors for doing business with the federal government. If you have a schedule, you are part of a very special list. It means you have gone through a process that allows federal contracting personnel to find just what they are looking for in the confusing and confounding world of government contracting. In many cases, the government and its established vendors require you to have a GSA schedule to respond to a government requirement. The reason for this is the Schedule has pre-negotiated rates and prices, so the government and its vendors know that these rates and prices are fair and reasonable. The tasks that any company has to accomplish to achieve a GSA schedule are often tricky. Many small companies that have never done business with the federal government are bewildered by the legal language and scores of requirements set forth in a GSA request for proposal. However, if you follow a regimented path, it is not as complicated as it first appears. You need patience and you must be detail-oriented to create a successful proposal. Preparation and submission of your proposal are the most time-consuming parts of the process. You need to prepare a proposal that is complete, timely, accurate and properly formatted. Each GSA request for proposal has its own requirements. Carefully examine the NAICS and SIN codes to select those most appropriate to your business. Make certain that the selected schedule accurately represents the goods and services you wish to propose to the federal government. The minimum qualifications that your company requires in order to be eligible to submit a proposal for a GSA schedule are listed below. Your company must at minimum have the following. - Been in business for at least one year. - A website and e-mail address. - Earned at least $100,000 within the past year. - At least six references of past business performance. This could even be six different people at the same client. Please note that six is the minimum number. However, ten references are preferable. - A verified accounting system (QuickBooks or a similar accounting tool) - A current balance sheet. - A DUNS number. If you don’t have a DUNS number you can get one for free. Most people are curious about how long the process takes. There is no simple answer. It will take a minimum of six months, assuming three months for you to gather the information and create the proposal and another three months for the Government’s review. However, if you submit a proposal that does not meet the formatting or information requirements of the GSA, the GSA will ask that you rebuild the proposal and resubmit it. Under these circumstances, the process could take a year or more and cost a small business tens of thousands of dollars. ACRONYMS: DUNS - Dun & Bradstreet GSA - General Services Administration NAICS - North American Industry Classification System SIN - Special Item Number(s)


Dr. Uchil is an entrepreneur, business-owner and author embodying almost three decades of management and consulting experience. Prior to founding The Uchil Group and Uchil, LLC, Dr. Uchil spent over eighteen years in a variety of senior management roles at several large consulting organizations. In addition to his PhD in Business Administration Dr. Uchil also holds an MBA in Consulting Operations Management, a BSEE in Electrical Engineering and a Diploma in Electronics and Telecommunicati...

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