A Capability Statement is a Living Document

Contractors often struggle with the idea that their Capability Statement is more effective if it is thought of as a “living document” and changed every time it is sent out.


Usually when clients approach me for consulting on their Capability Statement they’re looking for a static piece of marketing material that they can mass mail to everyone they’re interested in doing business with. I understand why this is the impression of Capability Statements people have before coming to TargetGov for help. They’re imagining something closer to a brochure or a flyer that highlights their company’s accomplishments and past performance within the federal space. It might make sense to create one generic Capability Statement that you can use to approach any target instead of having to write new copy for every statement sent out.

However, to be effective, a Capability Statement must speak to the customer directly – and especially their needs. As a marketing resource, Capability Statements are used to showcase what your business is able to do for your audience. By tailoring your Capability Statement, you display knowledge and professionalism and help differentiate yourself from the competition.

Capability Statements are living documents, and they work best when you’re able to quickly and effectively tailor them to the opportunity, agency, or prime contractor you are pursuing. This shows that you are not only capable of the work being asked, but you’re savvy enough to do the homework and research necessary to be successful.

Three easy ways to tailor your Capability statements are: Use their language, Match Differentiators to Core Competencies, and Include Relevant Past Performance.

1. Use their language

Use the language from the procurement itself instead of your own internal way of describing products and services.  We advise clients to take the time to ensure their Capability Statement matches the requirements of their targeted agency or prime contractor. What is the agency’s mission regarding the procurement? What is the prime contractor bidding on? What Past Performance can you use to showcase your ability? How do your Differentiators match the work you are able to do for the target? This will show that you are absolutely able to perform the work needed as asked. Taking this extra step when crafting your Capability Statement will also help set it apart when these terms are searched for by decision-makers.

2. Match Differentiators to Core Competencies

By highlighting areas of your company that sets it apart from the competition and tailoring them directly to your Core Competencies you will better differentiate your business from your competition. If you are an engineering firm, what kind of engineering is your target looking for? That’s the kind of engineering your Capability Statement needs to highlight, it is what the focus of your Past Performance and Differentiators should be. You want that Capability Statement to make it clear that not only can you do the work, but you can do the specific work being asked for along with a list of reasons why, with proof that you have done it before. Differentiate yourself even further from other companies by showing specific metrics and qualifications and clearly describe how they directly relate to the work needed.

3. Include Relevant Past Performance

The Past Performance section of your Capability Statement is there to help show that your company is able to and has been successful at performing the stated work. If you’re able to match the same language you pulled directly from the contract to provable Past Performance then you make a great case for why your company should be chosen.

By tailoring your Capability Statement to the audience receiving it you’ll help set yourself and your business apart from the sea of other capable companies.

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