Government contracting can be hard to get into—there’s so much to learn! However, like any field, you need to nurture it and let your knowledge grow.
To help with that process, we’ve gathered some resources to help in three key areas: Instructional, Compliance, and Market Research.
1. Instructional Resources
To let your government contracting knowledge bloom, you must first allow it to take root. Understanding the foundations of government contracting is crucial. Here are some resources to help understand the basics of government contracting and some refreshers to keep you grounded in the wealth of knowledge that’s out there!
GSA Website: The GSA website is the go-to to learn the basics about a General Services Administration MAS contract. There’s a ton of knowledge just by understanding the basics that GSA provides. One of my personal favorites to look for are GSA’s webinars—they provide free, online presentations by experts to learn about a variety of topics. From Small Business Contracting to Schedule specific webinars, these tools can help you to develop a wide range of GSA knowledge.
Small Business Administration: Whether you’re a large or small business, the SBA website is the place to go for learning the basics of subcontracting. From learning the basic requirements to government contracting to how to win contracts, to business size Standards—the SBA has you covered!
2. Resources for Government Compliance
You want to make sure that your contract stays clear of any weeds that might damage its growth along the way. Here are some helpful tools to keep your GSA Contract healthy!
The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR): Granted, this is not the most exciting resource on this list. However, just like you need to make sure your plants are establishing good roots, the FAR will help you get firmly rooted into the world of government contracting. The FAR is the basis for all acquisitions in the government, and knowing the rules of the game is important to moving through the government contracting process with confidence.
Vendor Support Center (VSC): While many vendors think about the VSC when they are submitting their initial GSA offer, they often forget about it once they are awarded their contract. However, the VSC has a plethora of helpful tools to keep your contract in compliance. Keeping your contract in scope when adding new items, invoicing requirements, and Trade Agreement Act Compliance are but a few of the ways the VSC can help you stay in a fruitful relationship with GSA in the duration of your contract.
3. Tools for Market Research
Lastly, understanding the market, or soil if you will, that you’re in can make all the difference with government contracting. Here are some resources to help you figure out what’s coming your way!
USA Spending: This tool offers a big-picture view of the federal spending landscape and gives a targeted approach to finding federal award data. While this tool isn’t GSA specific, their award search can help to answer even the toughest questions about federal spending. USA Spending helps you to look at individual contracts by state/region/city to gauge the market—your market—before you make your next move.
CALC Tool: The CALC tool is a very underrated tool in the government contracting world. CALC allows you to search awarded rates for labor categories based on years of experience and education. CALC lets you conduct market research on professional service labor categories quickly and easily, helping you make better informed decisions. My clients have loved this tool—it really helps them to easily compare themselves to their competitors and makes them better prepared to adapt to the government contracting world.
The government contracting world can be a bit intimidating at first glance, but by rolling up your sleeves and digging deep, your business can bloom in the soil where it’s planted correctly.