How to Write a Capability Statement that Works

Situation:

When a company wants to start working with any level of government contractor or large business you need a quick and easy way to introduce yourself. Your business card does not tell the purchasing agent much about your business, the purchasing agent does not have time to go to your web site, and any conversation you have with them is usually too short for a full description of your product or service. Finally this should all be on a one page document that is organized into logical sections and easily read.

Analysis:

1. Large companies and all levels of government purchasing agents need to know what your product codes and NAICS codes are in order for them to put you into their procurement system.
2. Any type of certification (woman owned small business, 8a, HUB Zone) helps differentiate you from other businesses. Having a certification does not mean you will get business. It does mean you will get access to purchasing agents.  This is mainly for businesses that have set aside or supplier diversity requirements.
3. Purchasing agents need to know your past performance history in order to make sure you can do the job that the contract is being published to accomplish.

Solution:

ASBC recommends that all businesses create their own capability statement that should be given to purchasing agents, buyers, and companies with which you desire to do business. The capability statement should contain any and all NAICS codes, state specific codes, product codes, DUNS number, and CAGE code if applicable. It should also have specific contact information (not the general business number) for follow up contacts. A specific description of your products or services should be included. Give examples of past performance or customers you have performed work for. These people or businesses will be called like a reference so use ones you want to be contacted. Pictures and color are a nice touch and a great way to stand out from the pack.

There is a template and an example capability statement on this web site under the Business Resource Center, and can be downloaded for your convenience.