10 Core Concepts of a Capabilities Statement

The capabilities statement is one of the most effective ways to market your company to the government. It is a short, ‘get-to-know-me’ type of document that shows what your business can do and why potential customers should buy from you. Below are some of the key points to remember when writing your capabilities statement.

  1. Show what you can do.

Include your core competencies in your capabilities statement. Core competencies are short descriptions of the products/services your company offers. This is not an exhaustive list of everything you have ever done as a company, but rather a tailored, agency-specific overview of what you can offer. 

  1. Show what you have done in the past.

Past performance is often highly utilized when deciding if a company has the potential for success in government contracting. If a company does not have much experience to show, they may not be the best fit for an agency that is looking for experienced contractors. If you have a lot of past performances highlight examples that the agency would care about. Try not to include information that is irrelevant to the agency’s goal or mission, as it will distract from the benefits you are offering. You should make the agency feel like your company is truly the best fit.   

  1. Explain why you are worth it.

Differentiators are an important factor in a capabilities statement. This is what sets you apart from other contractors. You want these statements to be unique, interesting and different from other businesses that offers the same products or services. Consider why your offerings are better solutions. Your answer will solidify how your company is the best choice.   

  1. Do not leave out the basics.

This may seem simple, but including company data is important as well. This includes contract information, set-asides (if you are qualified for one), DUNS Code, SINs that you have, your primary NIACs codes and any awards that relate to the target audience. This is important so the agency knows which contracts and categories you have experience with. Including your set-aside qualification can also make your business desirable to agencies that need to meet small business set-aside goals.

  1. Keep it short and sweet.

The capabilities statement should be no longer than one page front and back. This is really an overview of who you are and what you can do as a company. Keep it simple, accentuating key elements that make your business great. 

  1. Update it often.

A capabilities statement is not something that you write once and then stick in the back of your filing cabinet. It should be updated frequently to best reflect your accomplishments and abilities. This is especially relevant to your past performance and contract information, which changes as time goes on. This should be a living document that changes as your company changes.

  1. Know your audience.

Modify your capabilities statement to fit the goal and mission of the agency who is receiving it. This is relevant to all information included in the capabilities statement. As mentioned already, including competencies, past performance or differentiators that are irrelevant to the specific agency is distracting and unimportant. Focus on what will interest the target agency.

  1. Emphasize your branding.

Keep the formatting of your capabilities statement neat and easy to follow. Fill up the whole page and show that you spent time on it. The amount of effort you put into this document could set your company apart from other contractors. Use your brand logo and all design elements that are found on your website and marketing materials.     

  1. Take it everywhere.

Keep your capabilities statement on hand when you go to any type of networking event or sales pitch. This will help remind you to keep the document updated and ready for use at all times.

  1. Put it on your website.

Finally, make sure the capabilities statement is available on your website. This is not only important to government agencies, but also to potential teaming partners, sub-contractors or prime contractors that may want to work with your company. Remember that others research your website, just as you research theirs. Be sure to include information that is easy to understand and relevant to potential clients.


Need more marketing tips? Additional government marketing strategies can be found in our Fundamentals of Federal Marketing tutorials.

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August 30, 2017

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