In good time’s firms with GSA Schedules utilize their schedules to obtain contracts with federal agencies. Less firms are looking to the government so this gives firms an opportunity to build relationships with federal agencies. As a result of these long-term relationships small businesses with over 10 years of contracting experience win contracts greater than 53% of the time.* During a strong economy M&A activity heats up and smaller firms become more attractive to larger firms. This is because 65% of acquisitions in the federal contracting space occur so the acquirer can have access to new/federal markets.** Therefore these established relationships with agency customers can becomes the most valuable strategic asset of a small business.
A GSA Schedule is one of the few transferable government contracts, and will follow the acquiring company in a business sale.
The average small business GSA Schedule Holder has over $1MM per year in federal sales. For the average small business GSA Contract holder this makes the Federal Government their largest client. GSA Schedules often are the channel by which firm’s segue into additional product offerings and contracting vehicles.
During past recessions the federal government attempts to stimulate economic growth by increasing spending. Usually this causes a rush of application to the GSA Schedule System which under normal economic conditions only handles several thousand applications per year. This expands wait times past the four-five month current processing time. Most firms are generally looking shorter-term to replace 15-25% of their billing with federal contracts. So planning ahead is critical for using a GSA Schedule as a defensive strategy.
Going one step past registering with FEMA is obtaining a GSA Schedule Contract and Agreeing to be a Disaster Relief Participant. If you review how FEMA makes its post disaster purchases, a great deal/majority of its buying comes from the disaster relief arm of the GSA Schedules. This is because the pricing is already vetted and the schedules are a GWAC, meaning they are Government Wide so they cover all 50 states and US territories. FEMA is a large agency but does not have the capabilities to recreate the GSA Schedule Contracting System and therefore piggyback off the GSA Schedule System provides them with a great deal of utility as there mission is dealing with the unexpected.-->
*Grant ThortonAnnual Government Contractor Industry Survey Highlights
**American Express Open Forum: Successful Small Business Contractors Invest More in Time and Money to Pursue Federal Contracts