The value of a business capability statement

Many of us have come to realise that contracting is all about relationship development.  And while relationships lie at the heart of business success, when we need to market to a new prospect, how can we open the door to start building a relationship?

A capability statement* is an effective means of doing this because it helps to communicate what your company can bring to the table. Importantly, it can be a good first step to engaging and building trust – essential foundations for relationships worthy of progressing.

Capability statements should be short (about 1 – 2 pages but can be up to 10 if more detail has been requested) and provide a hard-hitting synopsis about your company’s product and service offerings, key personnel and qualifications.  Providing this vital information helps prospective clients make initial determinations or sound decisions about your company’s credentials and track record, and whether you have the capabilities to perform the contract requirements.

Content

When written powerfully and persuasively, a capability statement will differentiate your business from your competition, helping to reinforce your business brand and value proposition in the minds of existing and potential new customers.

Consider including information such as:

  • Company overview
  • Key offerings or areas of expertise aligned against your marketing strategy
  • Points about your products and services in the language that will appeal to your target audience
  • Past performance of your company (the type of work you have undertaken highlighting positive outcomes achieved which your target audience should expect to see)
  • List of customers /clients you have done business with, or most similar to the ones you want to do business with
  • Accreditations, certifications, awards
  • Contact information.

Presentation

Having your capability statement professional designed will not only to reinforce your brand, but will enhance recall and retention of your key message, improve readability and engage your readers.

Other tips for producing a professional capability statement with visual impact:

  • Keep sentences short and succinct, and use bullet points to improve the readability of your document
  • Type positioning, spacing and font selection should reinforce your corporate style
  • Save as a PDF for cost-effective email distribution, and print extras in hard copy to hand out at trade shows or meetings
  • Use infographics or data visualisation to explain and/or simplify business processes or methodologies
  • Incorporate photography such as head shots for biographies and mastheads to quickly communicate the topic
  • Consider producing a front cover for more formal use (such as tenders and presentations when requested).

Remember, in business people rarely come to you.  A capability statement is therefore one marketing tool available to help build your business and lift your profile.

* capability statements may sometimes be referred to as corporate credentials or business profile.

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About the author

About the author

Nyree McKenzie is the Managing Director and owner of Thought Bubble, a business development and communications consultancy specialising proposals, tenders, major bid management programs, marketing and corporate communications. She is a trusted adviser to CEOs, board members and business development executives from leading global brands and firms throughout the Asia Pacific. [email protected] www.thoughtbubble.com.au