If you’ve decided to sell your products and services to GSA, here’s some good news: you don’t have to do it alone. There are many ways to partner with other contractors to maximize your chances of selling to GSA.
Under the umbrella term “partnership” is a number of distinct ways to collaborate with other businesses in order to provide best value to the federal customer.
In all cases, it is about providing better value to GSA as a customer. Also in all cases, OSBU can provide guidance to those involved in forming a partnership, but not oversight.
Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA): Under a Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA), two or more GSA Schedule contractors work together to meet an ordering activity's needs (definition: those agencies and organizations that can order from Schedules).
A CTA is an arrangement, between the parties involved, not the formation of a new company.
Joint Venture: a joint venture is a new legal entity that is formed for the sole purpose of pooling resources to successfully and cost effectively support the mission of a government agency.
Mentor Protégé: a formalized agreement where GSA prime contractors assist small businesses concerns in all small business categories, enhancing their capability of performing successfully on future GSA contracts and subcontracts.
Note: "partnering" is also a term used by GSA’s Public Building Service (PBS) to create a framework of trust on a construction project. This is not the same thing at all.
Perhaps you've decided to wait to get on Schedules, or that it isn't a fit for your company.
All isn't lost: try subcontracting to a business that's already on Schedule. It's a great way to gain experience selling to the government.
Why would they want to share sales with your company? Many contracts require prime contractors to establish plans and goals for subcontracting with small business firms. This means they are actively looking for small businesses with which to partner.
The Subcontracting Directory
To help small businesses connect with prime contractors, GSA publishes a Subcontracting Directory.
Who Is In the Subcontracting Directory: large prime contractors who have received federal contracts:
- for goods & services other than construction, valued at over $700,000
- for construction valued at over $1.5 million
Small businesses should contact prime contractors directly for subcontracting opportunities.
If you want insight into what GSA expects from prime contractors when crafting a subcontracting agreement, review GSA's template model subcontracting plan Section 508 compliant version), which it offers to prime contractors to help them frame their objectives.