A Strong Capabilities Statement Is A Powerful Tool. Have you updated yours recently?

If you are going to compete in the very competitive government contracting arena, a critical document for your business is a powerful Capabilities Statement. It doesn’t matter how big or small your company is, having a strong Capabilities Statement is expected by all government agencies.

A well-written Capabilities Statement provides a concise, clear picture of your business and past business performance. It allows the reader to quickly review your qualifications, certifications, experience, and core competencies.

The Capabilities Statement is a snapshot of your business which provides the reader with all the pertinent information about your business including contact information. It is a very brief document — never more than two pages and preferably only one page. As with a resume, you will customize your company Capabilities Statement based on your target agency. Each agency has their own goals and focus. You need to make sure the agency sees that you understand their mission and your company can help them to achieve it.

The Capabilities Statement should be pleasing to look at and be professional. Its appearance should correlate with your website and other marketing materials to present a cohesive brand. The graphic basics should include your company logo and any other branding elements. Keep your sentences concise and use bullet points when appropriate. It should clearly indicate at the top of the page that it is a “Capabilities Statement.”

The elements of the Capabilities Statement include:

  • Business Summary / Core Competencies / Capabilities
  • Facilities and Equipment (if appropriate)
  • Expertise
  • Past Performance / Customers / Contracts
  • Contact Information, Codes, and Certifications

Provide your business summary / core competencies in a short introduction that is targeted to the specific agency. Don’t include everything that your firm can do. Only include those areas of expertise that are relevant to your target agency and their needs. This summary should be a brief paragraph telling the reader who you are and what you do and may include a brief history of the business.

If you are a manufacturer, list all facilities, equipment, and resources used to manufacture the products you would be providing to the agency. Include unique qualifications, techniques, and approaches used to perform the work, including any state-of-the-art equipment or capabilities that are a part of the business.

When detailing expertise, again be brief. You should also include key personnel/staff and highlight their education and technical experiences as it relates to the business and to the agency.

When listing past performance, be sure that the work performed aligns with the needs of your target agency. Don’t list contracts that don’t show your experience with the specific tasks the agency is seeking. Identify those areas that make your company unique. Present this in such a way that it is clear that you understand what the agency needs are and that would re-enforce the agency’s decision to select your business as the best choice. Provide a list of three or four key customers – past or present. Agency names are sufficient. Should the target agency want specific contact information, this can be requested and provided separately from the Capabilities Statement.
Provide general information about your business including the geographic area served, certification (socio-economic and industry), NAICS, CAGE code, GSA schedules, DUNS, website address along with contact information (name, address, phone number, and email address). The contact email address should be directed specifically to the point of contact and not be a generic address, such as sales@yourcompanyname.com. Also, email addresses should be reflective of your company website and not look like a personal email at Yahoo or Gmail.

Save the file with your company name as the title so the recipient will be able to easily find it when they need it. Also, when sending the file to your agency contacts, send it as a PDF file.

A powerful Capabilities Statement will show the agency that you understand their needs and are positioned to help them achieve their goals.

If you need assistance in developing or updating your Capabilities Statement, contact the Orange County SBDC at 714.564.5200.

Looking to start or grow your business?

We at the Orange County Inland Empire SBDC, are here to help you with every aspect of your business to help it grow and become successful.
Give us a call at 1-800-616-7232 or schedule a quick, 15-minute intake appointment at ociesbdc.org/consultation to see how we can help you start, grow, and succeed.

A Strong Capabilities Statement Is A Powerful Tool. Have you updated yours recently?

Mike Daniel is the network director of the Orange County Inland Empire SBDC Network, which assists aspiring entrepreneurs and current business owners throughout Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Mike was formerly the director of the SBDC office at Long Beach City College. As business owner and entrepreneur himself, he started his career as the owner of a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory location in Manhattan Beach and went on to open a second location in Long Beach in 2001. In 2007, Mike sold the Manhattan Beach store for an above-market offer then invested in several additional locations as a minority shareholder. Mike further expanded his candy empire with venture located in Shoreline Village in Long Beach called Sugar Daddies Sweet Shoppe, based on fill-it yourself candy options.

Mike has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton.