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Capability Statement: What is it & How to Write One?

Posted February 5, 2019, by Kristina

You're a smaller company, wanting to make it big? Maybe you want to become part of a big supply chain? Or are looking into ways to start cooperating with the public sector? There's one document that can make it or break it for you: the capability statement.

As the number of government agencies offering work to contractors grows, so does the popularity of capability statements.

Done right, a capability statement will inform your target about the services you provide. As a rule, it will also showcase what makes you different and hopefully better than other companies.

What is a capability statement?

A capability statement is a formal document that informs the public of who you are as a company.  It should be concise, informative and persuasive. Think of it like your company's resume. It shows what goods and services you can provide, in addition to introducing you.

Another thing you should aim for is showing what makes you the right person for the job. Similar to a personal resume, tailor it to each opportunity you're applying for. This means that listing all your experience is not a good idea. Let's say you're a company operating for 20 years- that far surpasses the amount of experience that can be listed. 

Therefore, try sticking to the most recent and most relevant experience.

In order to prevent getting stuck, look into capability statement templates. These will guide you and help you get the idea of what to write.

What should it contain?

Let's imagine that the Department of Education and Training is looking for a partner for their skills and training programme. Here's our proposed capability statement template.

  • Main business activities

Shortly describe your business and try linking what you do with the offer you're applying for. Optionally, add your mission and vision, as well as your stand on social responsibility. For example:

"Main business activities and services provided

Career FAQs provides high-quality and relevant career resources to a wide audience. From hand-picked, accredited courses to career advice, resume templates and professional improvement tips, our service covers the entire scope of what one needs to start or improve their career. Our belief in life-long learning drives us forward."

  • Relevant past experience

Starting from the most recent, try focusing on the previous business you've conducted that are directly connected to what you're applying for.

"Our services

We have published 45 career guides covering just about every industry, career and occupation you can think of. 
In addition, we offer study tips, job hunting tips, updates on workforce trends, personal and professional tips and professionally designed CV and cover letter templates.
To sum up, we ensure that our readers continuously receive the best possible guidance that will help them further their careers and develop new skills."

  • The differentiators

In today's world, the most difficult thing is becoming memorable. What sets your business apart from hundreds, if not thousands similar ones? Be sure to point that out and be as clear as possible.

"Our distinguishable capabilities

We have over 12 million annual visitors who come to our site to use our services, make Career FAQs Australia's number 1 careers site. Also, we partner with Australia's leading educational institutions and have developed quality assurance measures. Consequently, our website currently hosts over 500 accredited courses across a wide range of fields." 

How long should it be?

Typically, a good capability statement template will not be more than one-page long. If you believe that one page is not enough to cover everything you have to offer, you can always look into having two versions.

This practically means that you create a brief overview of all the (relevant) activities of your business, which will be one page long. In addition to that, you can offer a more in-depth version to interested parties. 

General tips

Above all, ensure that your statement is readable and visually appealing. For instance, you can offer a bulleted list or table outlining your products and services, instead of plain text. Adding charts or graphs can also be helpful. However, don't over-do it. You still want to keep it professional.

Before starting to write, check if the government agency you're applying with has guidelines. Even the best capability statement template doesn't work if it doesn't comply with the set-out guidelines. Exactly like with everything else, do your due diligence on time. 

Last, but not least: customise your template and keep it relevant. Try to alleviate all of the doubts they might have and convince them your business is the right one for the job.

Kristina

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