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Where’s Your Cape?

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). 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 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

 

To put it simply, a capabilities statement is a must-have tool for successful government contracting business building and marketing.

Creating Your Capabilities Statement

Let’s dive into the pieces of a well-designed capabilities statement (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 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.

 

Branding for Your Business 

📣 Attention all businesses with a website (you should have one), this message is for you. 📣 

Branding is more than a set of colors and a logo. Today, branding refers to how your business stands and speaks when you are not personally doing the talking. It refers to your content, your audience, the platforms you choose to be active on, and how often you interact with your digital community.  

We’re going to take a direct approach and provide you with an actionable checklist of items to update, create, or utilize as you configure your business’ brand going forward. 
Take a moment to answer the following questions.  

Branding:  

 Do you have a cohesive brand voice?
 Does your voice online resonate with your leadership and employees?
 Do you know your ideal audience/avatar?
 Do you know how your audience wants to receive information?
 Are you incorporating your company culture into your brand’s voice? 

Website:  

 Is it updated to 2020?
 Does it have your correct phone number?
 Is there an active “contact us” page?
 Do you have a page for news/blogs?
 Does it showcase your leadership?
 Are your capabilities clearly conveyed?
 Is it easy to navigate? 
 Does it load quickly?
– Do the links work? (Yes, ALL of the links.)
– Are your social profiles linked? 

Social Platforms: 

 Do they link back to your website? (Activate Your Buttons.)
 Are you speaking actively to your community?
 Is your contact information visible?
 Is your leadership following the pages?
 Are you updating them consistently (see our blog on consistent content here) 

 

In the world of marketing, statistics say that new clients and customers will take time to visit your website, social profiles, and more before reaching out to talk to you. Put your best digital foot forward before getting on the phone or connecting through an email. If you answered no, or have several question marks next to the items above we recommend seeking a branding update, stat. The experts at BOOST are able to provide you with a digital diagnostic to identify areas of strength and recommendations for improvementWe know these tasks have been on your to-do list for a while now, let’s dust them off and get them taken care of before the start of the new federal fiscal year.  

The Power of Digital Events

Are you Zoomed or webinar-ed out yet? 
Many people are feeling the Zoom-Gloom as it’s often referred to and for good reason. While there’s a new webinar opportunity (or several) every week it may feel overwhelming to know which to attend and which to avoid. To keep the Zoom-Gloom, and mind-numbing doldrums at bay, we have a few suggestions on how to schedule your digital event attendance.  

  • Only plan to attend one digital event per day and no more than 2-3 per week. 
    We get it, you’re looking for opportunities to see and hear people other than those in your home but attending too many digital events in one week is going to burn you out and tank your productivity. 
  • Get on the ideal mailing lists!
    In your industry, you already know your top 5 companies from which you consume content. Make sure you’re in-the-know when it comes to new releases, opportunities, and digital events by signing up for their e-newsletters. If they don’t have one, or if you prefer to keep it out of your inbox, follow them on their social profiles. Most businesses in our industry are using LinkedIn, Twitter, and possibly Facebook in addition to their email outreach or website blog. 
  • Change the landscape for what to expect. 
    BOOST and govmates have definitely led the charge here when it comes to changing the way the government does digital. From virtual matchmaking opportunities, to institutes, and digital expert panel discussions we do our best to make sure that you’re not attending yet another zoom meeting.  You can be informative and have a personality, digitally. Trust us, we’ve tried it. 
  • Register Ahead of Time
    If the topic is of interest to you but you’re not sure you can 100% commit register anyway. Typically, you’ll get a calendar invite and a reminder the day before and many times (unless there are certification credits involved), there will be an opportunity for a replay. Billable work comes, and goes, at whim these days in the form of calls, online meetings, and coffee chats. If you’re able to hop on last minute you may miss out if you haven’t registered in advance. Worst case, you miss the live interaction but you can catch up on the replay later.  

Now that we’ve discussed attending events, we need to touch on hosting events.  

(As a slight side elbow to those of you reading, BOOST will continue to participate in and host virtual learning and webinar opportunities, so keep an eye on your email.)  

If you’re planning on hosting a digital event (which we do suggest if you’re looking toward growth), here are some things to consider:  

  • Choose a moderator. 
    Having someone to keep speakers on track, pay attention to the chat and questions, as well as facilitate the slides is going to go a long way in the smooth transition of the event overall. 
  • Plan to partner with other companies.
    Two heads, or two communities, are better than one. Including partners and business friends in the planning of your digital events will allow for spirited discussions and a difference in opinions. This provides a healthy variety of content and feels more like a conversation than a presentation (and we know how much we all dreaded college lecture sessions). 
  • Market, Market, Market. 
    Once you plan your event, start marketing right away. Send email invitations to your list as a whole as well as from your leadership to those key individuals in your community that you’d like to attend. Share the registration link on your social media regularly leading up to the event and tag your speakers/partners/moderator as well to increase visibility. Finally, be sure to send a reminder email 24 hours and potentially 1 hour before the start of your event and make sure to follow up with a survey and/or replay link to encourage your position as a resource to your audience.  

We highly recommend our slate of digital events and invite you to take part in our upcoming opportunities as the federal year continues (you can request updates to our digital events here)If you’re thinking of hosting a digital event of your own and don’t know where to start, BOOST now offers done-for-you webinar hosting and facilitation! Connect with our Director of Marketing for more information here 

Marketing Your Business, Consistency is Key 

Do us a favor and imagine our best James Earl Jones impression “…and if you’ll look to your inbox, everyone is writing about COVID.”
We know, we know
While we may be exhausted by the constant deluge of COVID this, and social distancing that, the fact remains that the way we do business now has changed. Forever.  

In the case of marketing there seem to be two camps for business. Those who doubled down on marketing and content, and those who cut marketing. Can you guess which ones are currently succeeding? If you said “double down” you’re right! Those who continued to push forward with valuable, insightful, and above all else, helpful information are seeing the payoff in website traffic, social discoverability, and new leads. Luckily for those who pulled back on the marketing reigns a bit, the good news is that there’s still an opportunity here. You can create a goal-oriented, measurable strategy for your ongoing marketing efforts and have it pay off.  

There’s simply one thing to remember: Be Consistent.  

Much like a new routine takes 30 days to become a habit, it takes several opportunities, or “touches” as we call them in marketing, to become recognizable to your ideal customer or client. That means you’ll need to have 3 to 5 times as much content as you expect people to see and read. While content creation may seem like a full-time job itself (and it is) there are ways of making the load a bit easier to bear.  

  1. Do NOT hire a random person off the street to create your content. 
    It is important that the content you share, whether it be on your website, social media, or in print, be of a consistent voice and tone. You want all of your messaging to come from a single source, the voice of the company. If you, the leadership, are writing content and the part-time virtual assistant from a local college is also writing content on the same platform, chances are it’s not going to sound cohesive. A lack of cohesive branding will encourage confusion and mistrust, two things that are very difficult to combat in the world of marketing.  
  1. Fuel that baby up and get rolling!
    Once you jump on the content train, do not stop. Post, share, comment, and interact often. The more active you are on your chosen platforms the better opportunity you have to connect with like-minded individuals and those seeking your services. If you post consistently for a week and then not again for three weeks people will find you forgettable. If you’re concerned about keeping things consistent once you get started, choose 2-3 days per week and share regularly those days instead of forcing content out 5-7 days per week.  
  1. Utilize your partnerships. 
    We all have business friends and frenemies. Choose one day per week or a couple of days each month to highlight content that is shared by other businesses. To do this you’ll need to share it directly from their platforms or website and tag them in your social postings. This will get you the kudos for being a team player and showcase the depth of your bench when it comes to trustworthy sources for referrals and experience.  

Once you’re bit by the marketing bug it’ll feel like things are moving rapidly toward your new opportunities. This is a fastmoving track and you’ll need your wits about you to make timely, poignant decisions regarding the current landscape of content and social responsibility.  Take time to check in on your initiatives, pivot when things aren’t working (after you’ve given them a fair chance), and always be sure to follow up.  

While we know that you’ve always meant to get your marketing chops wet, maybe you haven’t made it a priority. Now is the time. Reach out to the marketing experts at BOOST to discuss the opportunity for a strategy session and a roadmap for continued growth and success.