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Is Now the Right Time to Get a GSA Schedule? Blog Feature
Stephanie Hagan

By: Stephanie Hagan on April 7th, 2023

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Is Now the Right Time to Get a GSA Schedule?

GSA Schedule | 7 Min Read

With inflation rates rising and supply chains continuing to be disrupted, it may not seem like a great time to start a new business venture, but getting a General Services Administration (GSA) Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) can be valuable for businesses looking to grow their sales even in this economy.

With the MAS program hitting over $40 billion in sales last year, it’s a bustling marketplace and not just for large contractors like Booz Allen Hamilton or Lockheed Martin. Small businesses have ample opportunities to sell through their GSA Schedule contracts and GSA only plans to expand the market for them in the future. However, this doesn't mean getting a prime GSA contract is right for every company. So, here’s what you need to know about the MAS program and why you should consider weighing the options of getting a GSA Schedule.

The Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program is Stable

Even though the past few years were filled with great economic uncertainty, the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program has only grown and strengthened. Of course, contractors and agencies haven’t been immune to the economic strife, but during these times, the government needs to procure critical supplies and find companies that will engineer solutions. This is where GSA contractors have the opportunity to get their foot in the door.

According to the GSA Schedule Sales Query Plus (SSQ +), GSA contractors reported just over $41 billion in sales in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. Let’s break down the top 5 industries and how many sales were reported through them.

Large Category

Sales in FY 2022

Information Technology (IT)

$21, 334, 165, 444     

Professional Services


Industrial Products and Services


Transportation and Logistics Services




Human Capital


As you can see, IT and Professional Services are dominating the Large Category sales—these two are often at the top, and it’s not surprising considering the goals the government has to grow in IT and technology including 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud computing, and other IT-related services. However, there is still a significant amount of dollars flowing through the remaining categories. Overall, the GSA Schedules program has 12 Large Categories covering everything from the ones mentioned above to Scientific Management and Solutions, Furniture and Furnishings, and Security and Protection.

GSA Remains Open During a Government Shutdown

One unique aspect of the General Services Administration is it’s self-funded, meaning it does not rely solely on government spending to keep it going. GSA generates funds from the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) which requires contractors to pay a small percentage of their GSA sales every quarter. So, when the federal government faces a shutdown, most GSA employees will be working normally. This is not to say your government work will go completely unaffected. If you have a contract with another agency, your work may be delayed, but you will still be able to operate through GSA.

The GSA Schedule is a Preferred Vehicle

Government agencies often prefer to use the GSA MAS program. Why is this the case? Well, for starters, agencies are required to use contract vehicles such as the GSA Schedule and other Governmentwide Acquisition Vehicles (GWACs) over the open market. Government agencies lean toward GSA Schedules because they know the contractors are pre-vetted and they are getting the best value in terms of price.

GSA also makes it easy for agencies to search and purchase products and services. Through GSA Advantage!, agencies can shop for and order what they need similar to using a site like Amazon. With GSA eBuy, agencies can solicit Requests for Quotes (RFQs) and Requests for Proposals (RFPs) from contractors.

You Can Sell to More than just Federal Agencies

A common misconception with the GSA Schedules program is you can only sell to federal agencies. However, under certain circumstances, you can also sell to state, local, educational, and tribal entities. GSA has several state and local programs that allow entities to purchase from GSA Schedules.

For example, there are the Cooperative Purchasing and Disaster Purchasing programs. Under the Cooperative Purchasing Program, GSA contractors can sell IT and security and protection products to state, local, educational, and tribal entities. Through the Disaster Recovery Purchasing Program, contractors can sell their products and services for the purpose of disaster preparation, response, and recovery. This program has been especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of bad storms and disasters over the past few years.

The two programs above are the most well known, but there are other state and local programs contractors can get involved in like the Public Health Emergencies Program and the 1122 Program through the Department of Defense (DoD). There are also other entities such as non profit and international organizations you can sell to. Examples of this include the Red Cross, the Library of Congress, the UN, and NATO. You can learn more about who you can sell to in one of our blogs.

Increasing Revenue through Small Business Programs

GSA and the Small Business Administration (SBA) work to provide fair and ample opportunities for small business contractors including support programs, set-aside contracts, and networking events. Small business set-asides are socio-economic focused programs that limit competition and allow small businesses to get access to more contracting dollars. These programs include:

If you are a small business, there will be opportunities for you to bid on contracts without having to compete with larger businesses. You could also team up with other small businesses contractors to create a total solution, or subcontract with a large business.

Despite this, not enough small businesses have been participating in the GSA MAS program. To mitigate this, the federal government now has a goal to increase small business spends over the next few years, and has adjusted over 200 small business size standards, meaning the opportunities will only continue to grow.

Are You Ready to Get a GSA Schedule?

While there are clear benefits to getting a GSA Schedule, it’s important to make sure it’s the right decision for your company and you are qualified to become a contractor before you begin the process of drafting your GSA Schedule offer

There are requirements you need to meet to become a contractor, and the process is not necessarily easy or fast. GSA is also seeing significant delays in getting contracts awarded, so prospective contractors may need to be a bit more patient than usual. To learn more about becoming a contractor, you can check out these blogs:

If you feel as if your company isn’t ready to get a contract or you don’t quite meet all the requirements, you can always look into partnering with an authorized GSA reseller. Of course, if you have any questions about getting a GSA Schedule and if it’s the right path for you, we are here to help. Our experienced consultants can assist you in determining what your company needs for success in the government marketplace.

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About Stephanie Hagan

Stephanie Hagan is the Training and Communications Manager for Winvale. Stephanie grew up in Sarasota, Florida, and earned her Bachelor's of Arts in Journalism and Rhetoric/Communications from the University of Richmond.