Government Relations · Contract negotiation

Is getting a GSA (Government Services Agency) contract a DIY project or should I get a specialist?

David Coleman Principal at Michigan and Beck, LLC dba Brandoogle

March 23rd, 2016

We are a staffing agency trying to get on with the Veterans Administration. Can we fill out the forms ourselves or should we hire a consultant that specializes in GSA  contracts?

Julie Rachui Operations Executive

March 23rd, 2016

Hi David - in my experience, hiring a legitimate, vetted Consultant is the way to go.  The in-depth process, data collection and steps to be taken are overwhelming to say the least.  With that being said, I would caution you that there are hundreds of consultancies out there that are less than ethical in their dealings with customers on this front.  I've heard from dozens of colleagues over the years of the scams within this industry in particular.  I would check multiple references, the BBB, etc of anyone you look to pay money to for this work.  I used a highly recommended firm in the last couple of years that got us on the GSA Schedule, but unfortunately did not hold up their end of the Marketing component we paid for.  Any consultancies that ask you to pay large percentages of their fees up front - walk the other way or negotiate payments as milestones are hit along the way to protect yourself.

Frank Martinez Co-founder at Upstream Ventures LLC

March 24th, 2016

We did it ourselves... but it helps to have a champion inside an agency.

Thomas Buckholtz Business Advisor and Innovation Consultant

March 24th, 2016

David:
Just a polite suggestion. Perhaps the name of the agency is still General Services Administration. (I served as a commissioner in that agency during the administration of a previous President.)

Bron Davies CTO at Beakn Mobile, LLC

March 24th, 2016

There are a lot of people out there posing as consultants that also require an unreasonable up-front payment promising a big contract in 90 days.  No one can promise that so make sure you contact someone through a reputable source.

Darrel Raynor Project & Ops Turnarounds, Interim CIO/COO, improve performance of dept or teams. Speaker, Trainer, Consultant, Staffing

March 23rd, 2016

One of our close partners is paying a reputable consultant to do just that for them, for courses, staffing, and consulting, along with regular GSA and at least two other certifications (HUB/minority...). Ping me privately if you want the name and I will ask status and how happy they are and if all good forward contact info to you.

Paul Cohen Attorney and Counsel

March 23rd, 2016

I have done these myself and have used a consultant.  The consultant way is easier but you do a lose a little control and may become wedded to him/her.  Either way, the amount of work you have to do is about the same.  

Shane Boudreau

March 24th, 2016

I took the route of jumping through the hoops myself, it is doable.  That being said I would hire someone proficient in GSA contracts if I need to go through the process again.  It isn't difficult, but highly time consuming.

Ari Cohen

March 23rd, 2016

I am not an expert, but I have been working with the federal government for 7+ years as a contractor. I'd recommend securing the services of a consultant to help guide you through the process. It's not an easy, or short, or clear, system to navigate and it can at times be extremely counter-intuitive. ᐧ

Sandeep Patel Accelerate Your Products' Time-to-Market through Automation | Industrial Automation | Custom Automation

March 28th, 2016

I'd advise you to vet a consultant and hire him/her. The time saving you have will allow you to focus on networking, which you will have to do yourself anyway.

Joe Valof Independent General Counsel [IGC]

March 30th, 2016

I have extensive experience negotiating various GSA contracts and it is not that difficult to maneuver through the process. Since you are a staffing agency the terms and conditions are fairly straight forward for your business as there are no ownership issues re:IP/software licensing that you need to be concerned with. If you were marketing a technical product, then you might want to consult with legal on the terms.