Installment 14: Getting a Pre-approved Federal Price List for Your Company

Outsider Perception: Perception: Doing federal business requires that you jump through bureaucratic hoops.

Reality: In order to get a pre-approved federal price list, your company must jump through several hoops. Lesson: Although the process is tedious and often painstakingly slow, take the plunge and work towards getting your pre-approved federal price list.

Background: The previous newsletter stated that having pre-approved federal prices is critical to sales success because competition is limited to companies with approved price lists. The best of these types of approved price contracts for small businesses are General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule contracts. They are ideal for small businesses because companies can apply for them at any time and they are open to all qualified businesses. Companies should apply for a GSA Schedule contract immediately upon deciding to enter the federal market.

Getting pre-approved federal prices requires considerable red tape. Companies submitting a GSA Schedule proposal must, among other things, describe their corporate experience, provide their commercial prices for the offered product or service and disclose their commercial discounting practices. There is an entire industry devoted to helping companies get through the application process (our company, in fact, is one which offers GSA schedule services). Companies can complete GSA Schedule proposals on their own provided they have a person with government contracting experience or they have a senior financial person with lots of time and the tenacity of a pit bull.

Although GSA Schedule applications are tedious, the critical components of your company's GSA offer are the disclosures concerning your commercial pricing and the level to which you have discounted off your commercial prices. GSA uses these commercial discounting disclosures to seek the lowest price you have offered others. The American taxpayer should be pleased that GSA contracting officers have this mandate.

Those GSA Schedule solicitations which apply to services (in contrast to products) require that a company demonstrate that is has the background or corporate experience necessary to provide the services it is offering to the government. In some instances, a company must have been in business for two or three years in ordered to be considered. This requirement obviously presents a problem to new companies that have no corporate experience to draw upon. However, select GSA solicitations allow a company offering services to proffer the experience of management with a previous employer as the corporate experience required under that Schedule's solicitation. Start-ups hoping to offer products to GSA also face a hurdle because GSA requires that a company submitting an offer prove that it has sold the product in the commercial marketplace. In spite of the challenges described above, it is well worth your company's time and effort to work towards getting on a Schedule contract.

Fedmarket offer's a GSA Proposal Solution Designed Specifically for Small Businesses:
The 3-Day GSA eLab - Develop your GSA proposal in 3 days at our eLab. Fedmarket provides you with a Request for Information (RFI) prior to your arrival at our eLab. You are instructed to bring the requested corporate data with you to the course. Attendees should, with the assistance of our GSA staff, complete their GSA offer prior to the end of the eLab's third day. Many attendees complete the process and leave with a completed proposal within two working days. If you are unfamiliar with the proposal process, the GSA eLab is the solution for you.

Installment Series:

Installment 1: The Best Offense is a Good Defense
Installment 2: Make the World's Biggest Customer Your Own
Installment 3: Market Research in the Federal Sector
Installment 4: Become an Insider in the Federal Market
Installment 5: Competition and Price Sensitivity in the Federal Market
Installment 6: Are Federal Bids Wired?
Installment 7: Fundamentals of Federal Contracting
Installment 8: Making a Federal Sale
Installment 9: Closing a Federal Sale
Installment 10: Start with the Credit Card and Quick Buy Markets for Smaller Transactions
Installment 11: Consider Starting as a Subcontractor to a Prime
Installment 12: Selling Directly to Prime Contractors
Installment 13: Pre-approved Government Price Lists
Installment 14: Getting a Pre-approved Federal Price List for Your Company
Installment 15: Small Business Preference Programs
Installment 16: Distinguishing Messages Win in the Federal Market
Installment 17: Selling to Federal Agencies Located in Your Backyard
Installment 18: Getting Started in Federal Sales
Installment 19: Don't Get Caught Up in Red Tape
Installment 20: Steps to Take After Winning Your First Federal Contract 
Installment 21: Learn How to Write Federal Proposals
Installment 22: Prosper in the Federal Market

Fedmarket has been helping companies win government business since 1995. We have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other trade publications. Our customer testimonials speak to our competence and expertise in helping customers win federal business. We have been singled out by public and private organizations -- including the Small Business Administration and federally-funded Procurement Technical Assistance Centers -- as the most comprehensive government contracting resource in the industry. Our web site's free content includes informative newsletters on GSA Schedules, Proposal Writing and Federal Business Development.

Visit Fedmarket
For inquiries, call 888 661 4094. Press 2.

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