You’re 100% capable of creating a capability statement
Forget trying to learn SEO or retargeting or producing flyer after flyer. If you’re a service based business, the humble capability statement is perhaps the most underutilised marketing document around, and deserves your full attention.
You don’t have to be a high flying corporate organisation, or a business that regularly bids for government tenders to see the benefit of these either (although they are very commonly used in these areas). My small copywriting business sends out a capability statement, or credentials document, almost every week.
What’s a capability statement?
Capability statements, credentials documents, or corporate profiles are a round up of your business’ capabilities. A capability statement should be focused on what your customers want and need from your business and how you address these as an organisation.
Essentially, you want to show your prospect that you can do what they need and have done what they need, and not only this, but that you do it exceptionally well.
A capability statement is generally around 6-10 pages, but this really depends on your business, your target market, and your overall document design. Some organisations, especially those that tender for government contracts, will need to demonstrate licensing, accreditation, technology, policies, procedures and more. Others can keep it simple with a company profile, team credentials, areas of strength, case studies, and methodology used to deliver your services. Personally, I have 19 pages! You don’t have to have this many pages, but I like to think of it as telling a story and I want my prospective clients to know how else they can engage my services in the future. Feel free to request a copy at: email@example.com
Copy Cred Capability Statement
How to write a great capability statement
As with anything in business, the customer always comes first. To create a good capability statement for your business, start by understanding who will be looking at it. A government panel? A prospective large mining, manufacturing, or commercial client? A small business? Knowing who is reading your document will help you determine what content you include, and how much of it.
A great way to set the scene is to share a bit about your organisation – but don’t just copy and paste it from your website – make it relevant to your audience. Talk about your commitment to certain parts of your business that will resonate with the prospective client (like sustainability or employee culture) and introduce your vision, mission and values. This helps humanise your brand and provides a greater purpose for why you’re in business.
Just as the name of the document suggests, your capability statement needs to highlight your core capabilities and competencies. For some, this will be every service on offer, but for others, this might be the top 20-50% of your business (whether that be by profit margin, revenue, or popularity). Be sure to present this clearly, with the end reader in mind. Bucket services or solutions by category, in stages, or by alphabetical order – whatever makes the most logical sense.
In addition, it’s a great idea to showcase not just your organisation’s capabilities, but your key team’s capabilities also. Usually, this is a short bio with education levels, accompanied by a head shot.
Regardless of the industry you’re in, you can help set yourself apart from the competition by demonstrating not just what you do, but how you do it. Processes and systems are highly regarded, so include how you would work with your client if engaged, and what tools and resources you have to support delivery.
It’s one thing to say what you’re capable of, but it’s another to prove it. Case studies and testimonials are great to include in capability statements for this reason. If you have lots of different client segments, you may even want to create separate capability statements each with their own targeted case studies – for example – one that shows your experience working with medical clients, one with manufacturing, and another with government, so that the client can clearly see you’ve worked in their space.
If you don’t have enough examples yet, or your request for a capability statement isn’t yet in high demand, then you may want to put them all in one document. I started out with different examples in one document, and have only recently started tailoring my work with professional services, trades and construction, beauty / retail etc.
What to include in a capability statement
Every capability statement or credentials document will differ in what it says and how much detail it goes into, but I’ve put this list together to help you identify what’s most pertinent to your business:
your “About Us’ profile in a suitable tone and structure
capabilities or competencies – strengths, skills, services, methodologies, outputs
experience – brands, case studies, testimonials
credentials – awards, media, accreditation, certifications, professional memberships
team – roles, experiences, qualifications
technical – insurances, key policies (WHS, Environmental, QA if ISO certified), equipment etc
call to action – how to get in touch How to Create a Capability Statement.
Using your capability statement as a marketing tool
I really believe this in as an untapped, very affordable marketing tool You can chat with us if you want to outsource it, or you have all the content already on your website and in your head – just put it into a Canva template and away you go!
Here are some ways you can elevate the functionality of your capability statement or credentials document:
- include it with your tender submission
- send it to prospects before or alongside an estimate / quote
- add it to your website for download
- print it and take to trade shows or meetings
- attach it to media release distribution
Need more convincing?
I generally convert around 80% of enquiries into clients, and guess what I attribute much of this success to? My credentials document! It acts as my marketing and sales kit when I can’t be there in person. I send it to my prospects just prior to meeting with them, or alongside my quote, and it reinforces my credibility and experience at a critical time in their decision-making process.
It’s relatively quick, easy and cheap to produce – why wouldn’t you add it to your toolkit?