Keys to Creating a Powerful, Successful Capability Statement

By Gloria Larkin

During 19 years of successfully serving companies in the federal marketplace, and speaking to thousands of people all over the country one question never changes: “How do I get started?”

The answer is always to create a powerful Capability Statement. It is the key to building relationships with important decision-makers in government contracting, providing them with a concise description of the goods and services your business can provide, and serves as a consistent reminder of your firm. It is also often a requirement in many government registration processes.

Capability Statement Format

A Capability Statement should be created in Word or another easily editable program. It is concise (one or two pages) and specifically related to the individual agency’s needs. Ideally, it is a living document that will change depending on the targeted agency. Why? Because savvy contractors know that each agency has its own mission and focus, and they speak directly to those in their capability statement.

It is important that the document be visually interesting and have similar graphic elements to your company’s brand and logo. It must also be a searchable document that can be sent as a PDF file.

The five key sections included in a successful Capability Statement document are:

  1. Core competencies
  2. Past performance
  3. Differentiators
  4. Corporate Data
  5. Contact information

Core Competencies

This is a short introduction statement relating the company’s core competencies to the agency’s specific needs followed by key-word heavy bullet points—directly related to the target agency, its mission and identified opportunities.

Past Performance

Tell the story of your work by giving specific examples of two to three past customers for whom your business has done work similar to the target’s requirements. If the past projects do not relate to the targeted agency’s needs, do not include them. Include the contract number, value, timeframe and a brief description of the work done. Include metrics and customer benefits. Be sure to include a reference contact person’s name, title, email address and phone number.


A succinct, clear statement that relates will help the procurement and purchasing staff, the program managers, end users and small business representatives understand why they should pick your firm over other competitors. Ask yourself, how is your company best suited for the needs of this agency? What is it about your services that make you stand out? Why are your products better solutions than your competitors? Ideally work in metrics to prove your capacity and full range of experience relating to the target’s upcoming needs.

Company Data

Begin with one or two short sentences of a company description. Note the size of your firm, your revenue, number of employees, and the typical geographic area served if these are compatible with what your target needs. If not, simply focus on these details:

  • DUNS
  • Socio-economic certifications
  • NAICS (codes only)
  • CAGE Code
  • Accept Credit and Purchase Cards
  • GSA Schedule contract number(s)
  • Other federal contract vehicles
  • BPAs and other federal contract numbers
  • State Contract Numbers
  • Name (a specific person)
  • Address
  • Phone (main and cell)
  • Email (a personal email, not info@)

If your firm has won any awards, received accolades or has notable accomplishments relating to the target, list them only if you have space.

A powerful Capability Statement will open doors to contracting opportunities in the federal government. When properly written, it sets your company far above your competition and gives the decision-maker a reason to spend their time with you.

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