One of the many ways that a company can tell interested parties about their business is by using a capabilities statement (CS). Government personnel very often request a CS to determine if they can use what you sell. Although there are three types of capability statements the more commonly used is the one page document that is printed on a white sheet of paper. When presenting the CS you should have a two minute elevator speech prepared that makes the agency official remember you.
Capability statements are used as ice breakers at bid matching events, they also are used to pass on to government officials to validate proof of past performance, but the main reason they are used is to set you apart from your competitors. To a government official a CS provides a large part of what they need to know about you and your business in order to consider your product or service. Constructing the statement is not difficult it needs to be a brief advertisement of your business and that is it, nothing else. This is one document that the government will allow for decorations, but make it very conservative you want to appear professional. Some of the key elements that you should include are:
Company name, Mailing address, website url- this information needs to be somewhere near the top of the page allowing it to be the first thing that the viewer sees.
Company Point of Contact- a direct name and telephone number of the business poc is needed.
Brief description of what product or service you provide- Government personnel do not have the time to research and find out what every company sells so by providing a brief description of what you are able to provide makes it easier for them to categorize your business. Try to throw in a few actions words in this portion.
Cage Code- especially important because a CAGE code is only issued to vendors that have registered in SAM, this let’s the agency know that you have taken the time to register and are qualified to do business with the federal government.
NAICS Code- NAICS codes are a lot more complicated than people think. The short of it is it is a six digit code that classifies your business to the federal government. The long part is how the codes are broken down, The first two digits indicate economic sector, the third indicates industry subsector, the fourth refers to industry group, the fifth refers to industry, and the sixth digit specifies an industry that is specific to the US, Canada, or Mexico. EVERY business should have NACIS codes and it is okay to have more than one. To locate your codes visit here.
GSA Contract Number (if applicable)- Some agencies want to know if there is an option to utilize GSA contracts which would make the procurement more streamlined. Make it easy for them and list your contract number if you have one.
This should start you off as having an acceptable CS, but over time you need to update it and be sure to have different versions that are tailored to your audience. If you can before presenting the CS try to find out exactly what the agency requires and tweek it to follow in line with their needs.
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