Stand Out From the Rest

We’re here to help small businesses scale for success while promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. In this video, we’re talking about how to craft your capabilities statement so that you can target your core audience as well as promote your core competencies, and your differentiators.

Part 2 of Crafting a Capabilities Statement

Our special guest, Dawn Mayes Program Manager, and DEI expert is currently working on the Guardians’ Progressive Fields Renovation and is helping us understand crafting your capability statement.

Continuing from our previous video, we talked about the high level, what is the capability statement, how important it is, and why it is important. Now we’re going to take it a step further in knowing your audience. So that you have a couple of different lenses. If you’re a startup business or an existing business, it’s your responsibility to know exactly what you are looking for as a goal for your business. Who do you want to work for or work with? Who is your ideal client? What is your niche? Who is your target customer? If you don’t know who that is, I would advise getting someone like Izzy, to help you with the market analysis to determine the market you’re in, the industry you’re in, and who is typically your client.

Ultimately when you’re working with a client, they want their job done with excellence, with precision, under budget, and on time.

This is your opportunity to have an understanding of that client. Their ins and outs, what they like, what they don’t like, and what certifications are required to work under that particular client. Are there particular projects that are very similar to the clients that you wanna work with? Determining all of these factors, really helps you hone in to determine what needs to go to my capability statement. If I know I need to provide certain certifications or NAICS codes on my capability statement, I’m gonna add that. If I know that I’m trying to work in healthcare and I’ve worked in a hospital or the healthcare system before, I want to make sure that’s a project that I highlight. 

Specifically, if there’s a bid package that you’re going after or there’s existing work that they have done, where you feel your business could have been a greater fit or you could have been on that project executing what your trade is, that is the skill set, that is the differentiator. That is the core competency that you want to make sure is included in your capability statement. So when you’re actually giving that capability statement out, it’s not just, here, read this, right? They’re gonna read it later, right? This is a way for them to remember you, but it is an opportunity for you to have a dialogue. So let’s say you’ve done that research and you determine they just completed a project, but you have some innovative software that could have saved them $10 million, just based on what you know from the project and, and its completion and the process, what do you think you should bring up?

I would definitely bring up, “hey, I’ve been researching your company. I would really love to work with you in the future. I saw you guys just wrapped up that hospital, and you utilize the service that I provide. Do you guys use this particular software? No. Oh, well, if you haven’t heard of it, it’s trending now. What it can do is streamline processes and it probably could have saved you about $10 million. I’d really love to meet with you over some coffee or lunch to just discuss further how our synergies can align.” Boom.


Let’s take a landscaping company, for example. If you did a capability statement that was showing all home landscaping and you’re trying to give it to a business that doesn’t really work so well and vice versa, showing a business capability statement to a homeowner. So we wanna make sure that it is visually appealing, it visually shows what that person is wanting to see.

A client would love to work with a company that’s always trying to be better and be above the rest of the competition.

They need to visualize themselves like, “Oh, they must have made this capability statement for me. This has all the stuff I’m looking for.” Visually it has to flow properly. In our previous video, we talked about, do you like reading essays? Guess what? We don’t either. So you wanna make it as brief as possible. You wanna make it high-level, just the highlights that you want to pinpoint, bullet points are best. You even want to add in some visuals, meaning, and pictures of a building. If you’re in construction, healthcare, or higher ed and you worked on specific buildings in that industry, put that on there because it frees up your page from more text and you can share the story with a picture. Well, I’ve also had questions where they say, Well, I don’t really do construction.

I mean, the work that I do is behind the scenes, you know, which is great, but if it’s with the EPA, if it’s with the municipality or a school district, use their logo. People will be impressed by that because you can probably put more than just a couple with all the texts, right? Because you’re using pictures and that can’t be overloaded. People are never overwhelmed with pictures. They’re always overwhelmed with too many words. 

The first thing that you need to put at the top of that capability statement is your logo, your name, your phone number, your email address, and your web address. But they need to know whose capability statement is this. Where are you located? That should draw their eye to the top of the page.

So we’re targeting who it’s for. We wanna let them know who we are, and then we also are letting them know how to take the action steps to get in contact with us as well.

Imagine they’re saying, “This is great. Oh my goodness, this is exactly the kinda work we’re looking for. This is the kind of company we wanna work with. Wait, who is it? How do I call them? What’s the person’s name? , what’s the company name?”

What are the next steps and how do we make it as easy as possible for them to do business with us?

By emphasizing our differentiators. How are we really doing that? You mentioned a little bit of like, okay, if you have a way to do something even better, would you say that we need to do some research ahead of time to know what else is happening in the market?

One of the key things that you should always be doing as a business owner, you should know what those trends are. And I know a lot of people are like, How do you figure that out? What do you do? To figure out trends, you should be Googling your industry, you should be researching. If there are magazines specific to your industry, you should be researching conferences that deal with your particular industry and how you can attend those conferences. When you go into those spaces, there are tons of businesses that are like yours, but they talk about industry trends. They talk about business development in your industry. They talk about new technologies, even reading articles. Maybe there are websites that are dedicated to your industry. I know there are tons of them in construction with newsletters and sending you updates about different trades within construction.

It’s your job to find out where those resource sources are, get on those email lists, see if there’s meet-up groups locally in your neighborhood. There might be small groups or professional organizations dealing with your industry and how you can join if it’s expensive, hey, how can you become an associate member when it might be a lower cost, but it gets your foot in the door to have access to possible networking opportunities, professional development in your industry and in your business. Then possible training or workshops. You might even get a discount to attend certain conferences because you’re a member of these professional organizations. So there are various ways for you to get involved. You can be in the know about what’s happening, but once you start to get involved in these smaller circles and get these emails and e-newsletters, it makes you more comfortable to navigate those rooms and have those conversations with those potential clients.

At that time, if you’ve done all of this research and you have found a new technology or software that has just been released, you know, they’re encouraging people saying, This is the next trend, and based off of your research, this might be the next thing. Make it your business to say, how can I get a free trial of this? Is there a workshop coming to my area? Maybe I have to fly outta town or to the next city over to take this training? You can use that as a leg-up.

Say you just registered, but you have a networking event tomorrow you go and you’re targeting these businesses and you say, there’s this new technology, I’m not sure if you’re aware of, but my company is about to get certified on it. Our training is next month. You’re still ahead of the curve in your competition because those other businesses, if it just came out, probably aren’t aware. But there, you’re showing your dedication to the industry and being better and having that cutting edge. A client would love to work with a company that’s always trying to be better and be above the rest of the competition. Ultimately when you’re working with a client, they want their job done with excellence, with precision, under budget, and on time.

We covered a lot of, you know, making sure that you know who your target audience is, who is your target market, making sure that you’re highlighting with pictures and your core competencies and you’re setting that differentiator.

In the next video, we’re gonna talk about that template. What exactly are we looking to put in there? What, you know, logos and things really look good on there and make us stand out. So stay tuned for video three and we’re gonna talk about what really goes on with that capability statement.

Izzy Nalley & Dawn Mayes

Join Dawn for our next Scale Up Your Business for Success Workshop Series 2022/2023, in-person or online.

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