How To Customize Your Capability Statement

As I mentioned in the first post of this series, capability statements are supposed to serve as a resume for your company. With that in mind, consider the customization of your capability statement a similar process to that of customizing a cover letter for each position that you apply. Readers of your capability statement need to quickly determine whether your qualifications, past performance, products and services are relevant to their needs. They need to know that you can solve a problem or fill a gap for them.

Research, Research, Research

Whether you are responding to a specific opportunity or simply trying to get a foot in the door, it’s important to clearly relate your capabilities, differentiators and past performance directly to the organization or opportunity in question. Take a look at their website. Take some time to learn about their current processes, products, and services.  If they have a strategic plan, review it to see how your company might help them achieve their goals. What is their mission and vision? How does it relate to your own?

Know Your Audience

Be sure to consider your audience. Are you sending the capability statement to a potential client, partner, or vendor? Why are you sending it to them? For instance, if your company is attending a tradeshow with the IRS, you may want to customize your capability statement to include keywords and past performance examples that are pertinent to the decision makers who will receive your capability statement. If you are sending to a potential partner, you need to demonstrate how your company compliments theirs and why a partnership would be beneficial. Ask yourself a few questions.

  • Are you familiar with their specific lingo, acronyms, etc.? Be sure to use them in your capability statement where relevant.
  • Have you worked with their products, systems, or processes before? Highlight this and be sure to identify the benefits.
  • Does your experience on another project or with another client make you uniquely qualified to serve them?
  • Is your product more innovative or cost effective than what they’re currently using? How? Why?
  • Is your geographic location relevant?
  • Do you have certifications or accreditation’s that align with their needs?

Final Thoughts

A Capability Statement can be a powerful marketing and communication tool for your organization. If you take the time to develop a compelling baseline, you’ll have the foundation for future customizations and iterations. What’s more, you’ll have some great content to include on your website, in presentations, and even in a traditional, tri-fold brochure.

Speaking of presentations, there’s a good chance that – at some point – you may be asked to develop a capability briefing. A capability briefing is an extension of the capability statement; and by extension, I mean that, unlike the 1-2 pages you just created, you may need to create a 20-30 page briefing for a specific meeting or opportunity. That’s another topic for another day, but I’ll say one thing about it now. If you’re meeting with someone for the first time, you definitely don’t want to show up with a 30 page capabilities briefing and proceed to walk through it page by page. If you do, I guarantee you lose their attention before you move past the overview or agenda slide! Be sure to know to whom you’re presenting (1, 2, 10 people?), what the format is (PowerPoint, paper, etc.), and how much time you’ll have so that you can plan accordingly.

That’s it for now. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or email me at monica@getstartedquickly.com. Remember, you can find a a number of one and two page, fully customizable Microsoft Word templates in the Get Started Quickly store. I also offer a custom capability statement service with a 24 hour, first draft guarantee, if you are so inclined.

Good luck and happy hunting!

This post was written by
A reformed corporate rock star with a serious addiction to food porn. She is a serial blogger, small business coach, and lover of casual Friday's. When not writing, researching, or coaching, she can be found working on her other blog(s) or watching action hero cartoons with her boys.

2 Comments on "How To Customize Your Capability Statement"

  • Winston Lee

    Could you please resubmit your first article about writing a capability statements please

    • Sure! The first article was called, How to Create a Compelling Capability Statement. Here’s the link.

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