Editor’s Note: This Article Has Been Updated June 26, 2023
Now, we’re not talking about your superhero cape. (But what you wear to work during a work-from-home-situation is none of our business.) We’re talking about your Capabilities Statement (better known as your cap statement) for government contractors. We bet that you need at least two hands, or more, to count the number of times you’ve been asked “what does your company do?” We would hedge a similar bet that you’ve been asked for a statement outlining your capabilities nearly the same number of times.
If you’re new to the GovCon space and you don’t yet have a capabilities statement, let us define that for you.
According to SBA.gov “A capability statement is a concise, one page document of your business competencies. Think of it as your business’s resume. Its purpose is to provide specific information that will convince potential customers to do business with you.”
A capabilities statement for government contractors is designed to provide the foundations for you to win more work in federal contracting. It should be a living document that can change in small ways depending on the agency proposal you’re targeting, but the framework and design should typically remain the same. Much like a thriving business exists on a solid foundation, your capabilities statement should be a standalone document of what you do, who you do it for, and how well you do it. And beyond that, you should always know where to find it. Think, “at your fingertips!”
Do You Really Need a Capabilities Statement?
Short answer, “yes.” Long answer, “Yes, of course!” All joking aside, your capabilities statement is a document that does several things for your business.
Some of those include:
- Simplifying information for government procurement officers
- Providing subcontractors’ details quickly for Prime’s reference
- Sharing pertinent information to potential clients and customers
- Highlighting value drivers to current and future teaming partners
- Sharing a branded and easily consumed reference to keep you top of mind
Creating Your Capabilities Statement
Let’s dive into the pieces of a well-designed capabilities statement for government contractors (cape statement).
A healthy cape statement will include:
- Core Competencies – The services and products your company provides well.
- Past Performance – The experiences you’ve completed that support your areas of competency.
- Differentiators – The unique factors that set you apart from your competition in the direct space you’re working in.
- Corporate Data – Relevant codes (DUNS, CAGE, NAICS), years in business, size, employees, diversity, etc.
- Vehicles/GSA Schedules – Any awarded vehicles or schedules you currently work with.
- Contact Information – Information regarding your location, phone, email, and points of contact.
When determining these pieces you may want to ask yourself the following questions to get the best sense of delivery for your business.
- Why should the government do business with my company?
- What facets of my company help our business to stand out from the crowd?
- What do I need to create a memorable resume?
- How can I best describe what I do in a succinct way?
Armed with the answers to these questions and your knowledge of a capabilities statement structure you will have the information necessary to draft your cape statement. But wait, there’s more! This is the stage of development where you can show off your design chops. We’re talking about that really great logo that went through 18 revisions, and a little of the personality that’s not typically showcased in a proposal or award. In this portion of the cape statement creation, style does matter. You’ll need your document to be error-free, clear, logically flowing, and memorable. Nothing is worse than having a document to showcase how great you are and it’s riddled with spelling or formatting errors.
If that feels like a lot to handle on top of your deliverable-packed-to-do-list, there are companies who specialize in the creation and delivery of capabilities statements. In fact, BOOST’s back office services for GovCons now offers the development and design of a 1–2-page branded capabilities statement for use in proposals and contractor agreements. If you’d like more information, please reach out directly to our Director of Marketing, Meg Kerns.
ABOUT BOOST’S CEO, STEPHANIE ALEXANDER
Stephanie Alexander has spent more decades than she wants to admit supporting high growth government contractors with an eye towards their bottom line. She is the CEO and founder of BOOST LLC which supports back-office functions for government contractors. She is a co-founder and Partner at govmates, a free teaming platform and technology scouting tool to connect business across the federal landscape.