Do I need a capability statement for my business?

What is a capability statement?

A capability statement is a business marketing document for service organisations. They are commonly produced by professional services organisations such as lawyers, accountants, business consultants, architects, etcetera but are also used by businesses that sell any form of expertise.

If you are asking do I need a capability statement you consider this: if you sell products you have a catalogue; if you sell skills you have a portfolio; and if you sell expertise you sell capability.

What is the purpose of a capability statement?

A capability statement answers the big question that your client is going to ask: do you have the necessary knowledge, experience, and qualifications to do the job?

A capability statement must positively differentiate you from your competitors and demonstrate a strong value proposition to existing and potential customers. You must make sure you also answer the big question: WHY SHOULD I USE YOU?

What should your capability statement contain?

A business’s capability is based on the knowledge, experience and track record of the people and the organisation. Therefore the key components of a capability statement will aim to demonstrate these three aspects in as many ways as possible.

How do I demonstrate my knowledge in my capability statement?

This is the first component of a capability statement. You need to have a short, sharp commentary about the range of services you offer. Now, no offense to anyone, but a list of what you do is guaranteed to be ignored by the reader. You have to present your services attractively: tables may be useful; images very good; but most effective are meaningful diagrams or infographics that make the complex easy to understand. You should also include industry accreditations and certifications, and any awards that you have won.

How do I demonstrate my experience in my capability statement?

There are several ways to demonstrate experience and track record and I would include as many of them as you can:

  • List your major projects and what was achieved
  • List your major clients and what you have done for them
  • Use a case study of a major successful project to show how you deliver success
  • Include short bios of your key personnel showing their experience and qualifications
  • Use testimonials from your clients that show you have done similar work

How do I present my capability statement?

The presentation of your capability statement is important. You are sending a message that you are a professional and successful business therefore your capability statement must reflect it.

Still asking do I need a capability statement? Writing, designing and printing the document properly will cost you several thousand dollars. It is a piece of marketing collateral that might win you a hundred times that value of work. If you scrimp and produce something of poor quality you will not look professional or successful and the result will be that you won’t win any work.