What is a Capability Statement?
If you’re a small business owner looking to work with government entities, you’ve likely heard about capability statements. These are one of the most important documents your business can have. But what are they, exactly?
Think of capability statements as a resume for your business. They include critical information that will help a government entity gain a snapshot of your company. They’re also a required document when submitting a request for proposal (RFP), and in today’s work bankers and school vendors are requesting them more frequently, too.
Learn more about the purpose of this document, what to include, how to prepare it, and when to use it.
What is included in a capability statement?
At a glance, a capability statement should identify your company and the services you provide, tell the reader where and how you operate, and give a snapshot of your day-to-day operations.
Common components to include are NAICS and NIGP codes, your tax ID and DUNS numbers, and references. A crucial detail businesses often forget is contact information—if you see a great resume, you want to contact the person to learn more and see if they’re a fit for the job, right? Same goes for a capability statement! Include an address, phone number, email, and website so government entities can find you easily.
Additional details you can include are certifications, awards, social media links, or even impressive annual sales numbers.
How do I prepare a capability statement?
Capability statements are a critical marketing tool, so they should reflect your company’s branding. They should use the same brand colors, images, and logo that are used on your website, social media, or business cards. Creating these in Word is easy enough, but to stand out, you may consider hiring a company to create a branded capability statement for you to help your company stand out.
Because capability statements are most often shared digitally, it is recommended that they be designed landscape instead of portrait so they match the orientation of a computer screen. This will make your document easier to read in the submission process.
Once you have a capability statement, you’ll want to ensure you have a PDF version to share. You may also consider having a handful printed on high-quality paper to have available for in-person events or meetings.
When do I use a capability statement?
The easy answer is whenever and wherever you can. This document is most often requested in RFPs, but you can also use these to refine your message about who you are, what you do, and who you serve. In that regard, they can also be a helpful tool to help yourself, and others understand what your company doesn’t do, making you more strategic.
Capability statements are great for those who aren’t strong at sales. Having a snapshot of key numbers may help you quickly and easily articulate key data points that sell your services.