Federal Contractor Capabilities Statements that Get Results

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Most people don’t see how a capabilities statement–especially if written effectively and precisely–can work its magic through the federal food chain.

An important part of communicating with contracting officers or any one dealing with acquisitions in the federal government is to have information relevant to them up front. Nothing does the job better than a company’s Capabilities Statement.

Now, I’ve worked for almost half a decade contacting different agencies about vendors trying to get business from them and my first question is “Do you have our capabilities statement?” In return I’ve heard a lot of folks say “We do but it goes into our pool,” meaning they have a folder that contains all the capabilities sent to them. Although that might sound like a blow-off, most people don’t see how a capabilities statement–especially if written effectively and precisely–can work its magic through the federal food chain.

A client of ours, who’s been with us for over two years, regularly receives acknowledgments from contracting agents saying that not only do they know about them but they would love to hear more about them. Why the warm response? Because we consistently use a streamlined process of sending, updating and following up with federal contacts who have the company’s capabilities statement. But again: the emphasis is on “effective”. No amount of marketing and followups is going to help you if your material just doesn’t work.

What Does it Take to Make a Capabilities Statement Work?

Your capabilities statement is a gateway into the federal market place. Take the time and effort to make sure it’s done right.

Tis for Target Audience

Who are you selling to? The federal marketplace audience can be divided into:

  • Government Agencies
  • Prime Contractors

The basic information provided to both is essentially the same, but can differ depending on the expertise they are specifically looking for. So do your homework: find out what they want–and what you are really capable of delivering.

target audience copy

F is for Format

Your capabilities statement should be precise and comprehensive enough for the reader to gather the most important information in the shortest span of time. The standard length is one page; keep it concise, visually captivating and searchable. Preferably, it should be a PDF file.

Capabilities statement format

C is for Content

Here’s a simple outline of what your capabilities statement must contain. Make a checklist out of it to ensure you not only have all the pieces of the puzzle but they all fit too. The content must contain the following elements for the CAPS to be effective,

  1. LogoCapabilities Statement Template
  2. Tagline
  3. Company brief
  4. Core competencies
  5. Qualifications and Certifications
  6. Achievements
  7. Company information
    1. Key Contacts
    2. Email Addresses
    3. Address
    4. Phone and Fax numbers
    5. Website link to your ‘Federal Landing Page’
    6. DUNS and CAGE Codes
    7. NAICS and PSC
    8. Contract Numbers and Vehicles
  8. Partners and Accreditation

Save yourself some time and download our ready-to-fill capabilities statement template.

How Other Companies Are Doing It

Wondering what effective capabilities statements look like? Need practical examples to get some inspiration? Take a look at how these companies decided to tackle their capabilities statements. Three Stars Enterprise ReignGold NCS Technologies Once you’ve covered the basics of building your capabilities statements, you can focus on the next step to making your statement effect.

What’s Next?

Your next step is to market your company’s capabilities. Keep it simple and everyone involved will thank you.

Capabilities Statement Marketing Process

1, 2, 3, followup!

Remember: you could create the world’s best capabilities statement but it would still be just one part of the process; if you want a piece of the $500 billion federal market, you need to get out it in the marketplace and dedicate a team to create traction that will take you to the next level of developing your federal presence. So plan, prepare and get SMART about your federal strategy.
Aisha Haleem,
isiFederal, 10/4/2014

in Developing Your Federal Strategy, Federal Contracting, Federal FAQs, Reaching Your Buyers by Aisha H. Leave a comment
About the author: Aisha H.

Aisha has been working exclusively in the federal market space with isiFederal, providing research and finance expertise in addition to being the Business Process Manager and assistant to CEO. She's no stranger to unpredictable, demanding environments--her past work experience includes auditing, teaching English at the Berlitz School of Language, and working for the Grand Hyatt in Dubai.

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