Small Business Assistance Frequently Asked Questions
What is a GSA Number?
You may have gone into the office of a federal agency to try to sell your products or services to them, and the first thing they asked you was, "Do you have a GSA number?" A GSA number is a GSA Schedules (also known as Federal Supply Schedule) contract number. You can get a GSA number by filling out a solicitation, through the eOffer website.
The Solicitation is an invitation to submit an offer to GSA. Once GSA receives your offer through eOffer, a Contracting Officer will review your offer and let you know if additional information is required. If you meet all the requirements, you may be awarded a GSA Schedules Contract, which means you have been approved by that contracting officer to sell your products or services to the federal government.
What's the advantage of being in the GSA Schedules Program?
GSA's Schedules program is the preferred method of procurement for the federal government. Federal agencies prefer to buy from GSA Schedule contract holders because they know they are getting an approved product. Also, it means GSA has done all the legwork for them and negotiated the best price and the best value for their dollar.
How long will it take me to get a GSA Number?
In many cases, the average time is 70 days. However, in some cases, due to the economy and the volume of offers received, it may take our Acquisition Centers a bit longer to evaluate. This is generally true for the Information Technology and MOBIS schedule, where the contracting staff may receive up to a hundred offers per week!
Once I get a contract, how will I know where to sell my products and/or services?
As a contract holder, you will be required to upload information about your awarded products and/or services onto the GSA Advantage web site. GSA Advantage is the worldwide shopping network that any federal agency can access and browse to locate and buy a wide variety of products and services from GSA Schedule contracts, and you will be listed along with these vendors. Also, you will need to market your Schedules contract to the federal community, as sales are not guaranteed.
GSA also has a regional Office of Small Business Utilization in all of its eleven national regions. Each office can assist you with marketing strategies to help you obtain federal government contracts through your Schedule. The ROSBUs should be your first point of contact within each agency. Also, USA.gov is a good place to look for federal agencies that you’re interested in marketing to. You can find a complete listing of GSA’s Regional Office of Small Business Utilization at the Office of Small Business Utilization website.
If your business falls outside of the scope of the GSA Schedules Program, ex: General Construction, Repair and Alteration of federal government space, Architect & Engineering services, etc, you should also contact the Regional Office of Small Business Utilization for more information about these types of contracting opportunities.