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13 Tips for Writing a Winning Capability Statement

Oct 6, 2022

A capability statement is a document that outlines your company’s strengths and abilities–think of it as a company resume. Used in the government sector, a capabilities statement is recognized and expected by federal and local agencies. A capabilities statement can also be a powerful tool for marketing your business to potential teaming partners and prime contractors.

Here are some tips for creating a capability statement that will help you get the results you’re looking for.

Use AI to Write Your Capability Statements

Even the best writers can struggle with writer’s block from time to time. When you’re trying to capture your company’s core competencies and differentiators, it can be difficult to know where to start.

That’s where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in. By using a tool like Jasper.ai, you can quickly and easily generate a capability statement that is tailored specifically for your business. You can also ask Jasper to customize the tone and language of your statement using its “Tone of Voice” feature.

With Jasper, there is no need to struggle with writer’s block. Simply enter your information into the tool and let it do the hard work for you.

AI: The Future of Writing

My secret is out: I use artificial intelligence (AI) to help me write, and I can’t imagine life without it.

AI makes it fast and easy to create content and completely eliminates writer’s block. The beauty of AI-assisted content is that it never copies sentences from one source to another, rather it writes one word at a time resulting in plagiarism-free content. The output varies greatly based on the user’s content brief and tone of voice settings. 

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Keep your Capability Statement Focused

Your capability statement should be clear and concise, highlighting only the most relevant information to your audience. Remember, you only have a few seconds to grab the reader’s attention, so make sure every word counts.

When writing a capability statement, resist the urge to get creative. Now is not the time to showcase your literary skills. The focus should be on providing the reader with a clear and accurate portrayal of your company and what it can do.

Tailor it to Your Audience

Remember, a capability statement is not a one-size-fits-all document. You will likely need to create different capability statements, tailoring each one to the specific needs of the reader. For example, your capability statement for government agencies will focus on how you can provide a final deliverable. In contrast, your capability statement for a prime contractor (another business) will highlight how you can support them in meeting their contractual obligations.

In addition to modifying your core competencies, past performance, and key personnel, you will want to ensure the language and tone of your statement are appropriate for the audience you’re addressing.

Include the Important Information

Similar to a resume, your capability statement should be concise. Limit it to two pages (1 sheet of paper, front and back), with the front highlighting your company’s information and the back focusing on your key personnel.

The first paragraph of your statement should capture your core competencies and highlight your differentiators (more on that below). The front page of your capability statement should also include the following information:

  • Past performance—Provide the name of the client and project and the work performed
  • Certifications—Let contracting officers know if you qualify for set-aside contracts that will help their agencies meet their small business contracting goals
  • Government codes—List your relevant North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes and Product Service Codes (PSCs). Keep this list short and only include the NAICS codes and PSCs relevant to the intended audience.
  • Company data—Provide the data that help the reader grasp your company’s size and capabilities, such as the number of employees and annual revenue
  • Existing contracting vehicles—Highlight any existing government contracting vehicles, such as GSA schedules, that can be used to simplify the contracting process
  • Contact information—Provide the name, title, phone number, and email address of the contact person
  • A link to your website
  • Nongovernment certifications—Let agencies know if you have ISO 9000, and
  • Security clearances
  • Testimonials
  • Relevant photos
  • Key personnel—List your key personnel and their specialized experience or education along with their professional photo

Check out our capability statement template to learn how to structure your capability statement and what information to include. Not only do we provide a template that you can download and use immediately to write your statement, but we explain in greater detail exactly what information you should be including.

Highlight Your Unique Mechanism

Don’t assume your core competencies and past performance will set you apart from the competition. Your competitors likely provide the same services to the same customers.

To stand out in a crowded field, you have to tell your prospects that you have a different way to solve their problem—one they haven’t been presented with or offered before. You do this by developing a unique mechanism.

For example, our company uses the PEAK Persuasion Method when writing proposals for our clients. Our method incorporates persuasion and influence through the following 4 pillars:

  • P = Pathos (Emotion)
  • E = Ethos (Credibility)
  • A = Axios (Worth)
  • K = Kairos (Timing)

When we tell prospects about our PEAK Persuasion Method, we get their attention because it’s a process/strategy they’ve never heard of before. And, since our unique mechanism incorporates PEAK, like our name (Peak Science Communications), our competitors can’t steal it from us.

When you provide a service, a unique mechanism is usually the unique process you follow to provide superior service. To find yours, think about the process you use, and then name it.

3 Unique Mechanism Ideas

A proprietary formula, process, or technology—If you’ve developed a proprietary element in your product or service, name it and include it in your marketing materials.

A formula, process, or technology that everyone uses but no one talks about—Lucky Strike cigarettes used this strategy in 1918 when they advertised their tobacco was “toasted.” All tobacco was toasted, but no cigarette company had ever mentioned it before, which made consumers believe that Lucky Strike was unique.

An ordinary formula, process, or technology transformed into the extraordinary—If you’ve heard of the P90X exercise program, you’ve heard of muscle confusion. Yet, muscle confusion was simply a term coined by the company to explain why its program had so many different types of workouts.

Make it Visually Appealing

You may have been advised to write your capability statement using Microsoft Word. And while Word is capable of many things, it’s not the best tool for creating a visually appealing document–especially if you don’t have design experience.

Instead, we recommend using Canva to create your capability statement. Canva is a free online tool that gives you complete control over the look and feel of your document. If you’re not familiar with Canva, don’t worry. It’s easy to use, and you don’t need any design experience. Select a template, add your text and images, and download your document in PDF or JPG format.

Screenshot of Canva home page

You can access our free capability statement template here.

Regardless of the software you use to create your capability statement, it must match your branding, including colors and fonts, especially if you send readers to your website. And you should include your corporate logo near the top of your statement so the reader can quickly identify which company’s statement they are reading.

Finally, use formatting such as bold and italics so that someone scanning your capability statement can quickly see the essential points.

Edit Carefully

Make sure your statement is free of grammar and spelling errors before sending it out. You can have a colleague proofread it or use a grammar checker like Grammarly to verify it is error-free.

Convert it to a PDF

When you’re ready to send your capability statement, save it as a PDF. A PDF will ensure that your statement retains its formatting and visual appeal, no matter where it’s viewed. Plus, it’ll prevent the recipient from accidentally making changes to your document.

Make it Easy to Find

In addition to sending a copy to those who request it, post a link to your capability statement on your website or email signature. You never know when someone will want to reference your statement quickly, and you want to make it as easy as possible for them to find it.

You should also keep a few hard copies available, especially if you frequently attend networking events. It’s always good to have one handy if you encounter a potential customer or client who wants to learn more about your company.

Update it Regularly

Your capability statement is a living document that should be updated regularly. As your company grows and changes, so too should your statement.

Be sure to update your statement at least once a year or more often if you’ve made significant changes, such as adding new services, acquiring another company, or winning a major contract.

By keeping your statement up to date, you can be sure that you’re always putting your best foot forward and showcasing your company in the best possible light.

Bonus Tips

Edit for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Post it as a Page on Your Website

When you’ve finalized capability statements for your core capabilities, you can post them on your website as pages or blog posts (not as PDFs). The actual text of your capability statement will help people find it when searching for your company online.

However, to be found online, you must optimize the statements for SEO before publishing them. Each statement should be optimized for the most critical keyword, such as the service you provide. Optimizing the SEO of your statement will ensure that your page appears in relevant searches.

Include a Video

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is worth even more.

Include a link to a professional-looking video on your website or landing page that introduces your company, highlights your key personnel, and showcases some of your best work. If you don’t know how to embed a video onto your website, you can host it on YouTube.

Get creative with the video by including customer testimonials, a flyover of your company’s headquarters, or even a short tour of one of your job sites. Just keep it short; no longer than 3 minutes.

Include a Call to Action

Your capability statement is not only a marketing tool but also a way to generate new business. So be sure to include a “call to action” at the end.

If you send potential clients to your website, have a landing page to capture leads. Or, include additional information on your website that you couldn’t fit onto your capability statement but that potential clients would find helpful.

If you do not have an email capture system on your website, your call to action could be as simple as including your contact information, or you could invite the reader to request a proposal or set up a meeting.

Whatever you do, make it easy for the reader to take the next step.

Sample Call to Action

“For more information about our company, please visit our website at www.example.com.”

Conclusion

Writing a good capability statement can be tricky, but following these tips can create a statement that will help you win new business and stand out from the competition.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase a paid plan. These are products I’ve personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.