Contrary to popular belief, your capability statement is not a “one-and-done” shotgun approach, and it is meant to be a working document, as your professional resume is/ was. Effective capture will force you to tailor it to meet the needs of the agency, opportunity, or prime contractor. However, you wouldn’t know this based on the companies that provide an uneditable version for an obscene amount of money.
Or let’s not forget the freelancers who would just assume to make you pay again for an iteration. They are now creating fake AI-generated social media profile pictures, joining government contracting-related groups, and then jumping into your DMs. Some claim to even be able to write a proposal “in any industry” but cannot point to the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). They are preying on contractors who lack an internal marketing team or process to effectively market their business to government agencies and prime contractors. I digress.
As a government contractor, all four types of capability statements will eventually be a part of your ongoing marketing (“capture”) process. Much of the content can be repurposed and used in more than one statement. This blog will discuss the different types, when to use them, and what they should contain. Be advised, that these aren’t the only marketing assets you will need to create. We can save those for another day.
The first and most common type is your general marketing capability statement. This is often used to introduce your company to the Small Business Liaison Officers (SBLOs), take to networking events and conferences, or post on your website for download in PDF from your government landing page.
This is the most frequently sought-after “type” when receiving requests for assistance, as many contractors struggle with marketing to the government, what to include on their statements, etc. Check out this blog for details on the must-have sections to include and how to approach your marketing design.
You may include a solicitation-specific capability statement within your federal response. In this version, you highlight the specific projects you have worked on that directly relate to the scope of work being called for by the government. You will mirror specific terminology and highlight the certifications or requirements dictated in the solicitation as an overall strategic approach.
There is not yet a solicitation, but you’ve either identified a need on the procurement forecast or detected through market research that this particular agency is a hot lead for your solutions. You review past solicitations and speak specifically to that agency’s pain points in your capability statement content, framing your solutions around their challenges.
Developing this version takes effort on the market research side because it forces you to know your agency fairly well, including its pain points. You may have to have a few conversations with agency Program Managers or Contracting Officers before you see a solicitation. It’s helpful to have also reviewed the agency forecast to speak to specific upcoming opportunities with a higher chance of landing the meeting.
If you’re using this version, you are likely trying to convince a prime contractor to include you in their team. It’s your goal to look appealing at first glance and immediately demonstrate you have not only done your “homework” on their company but have identified gaps in their offering that you can fulfill as a subcontractor. Successful Primes often have their own internal team managing their contracts, and depending on your industry, the contact person may have a different title than what you’re used to.
This version is more complex and takes more man-hours to develop, as these companies are not forthcoming about their procurement strategies. You will rely more on data and having conversations to uncover the specifics you will use to get their attention. It combines specific terminology from contracts they either have or are a “likely suspect” to go after once it hits the streets.
If you start with a general version, it becomes easier to repurpose it into other versions. Duwel Dev, LLC assists contractors with developing a content repurposing process and creating compelling assets, consistent with your brand. You can choose from the templates available on our Template Store on Etsy if you prefer to do it yourself. Or feel free to reach out for 1:1 assistance and discuss your needs.