Australian capability statements, capability statement writer Australia, professional writer

Australian Capability Statements – Grow Your Business

When it comes to Australian capability statements, many business owners are surprised to learn how these documents can help to land a raft of new and bigger clients. A professionally written capability statement (basically a company profile on steroids!), can be just the “foot in the door” you need to secure more business and increase your revenue.

While many clients come to me to get their Australian capability statements written, most are initially unsure exactly what needs to be included.

I work with electricians, plumbers, builders, transport companies, building inspection companies and many other business owners across Australia, who have been told they need a capability statement by their potential clients. Australian government agencies, large corporations and major contractors are increasingly requesting a capability statement to be submitted before they will consider working with your business.

Following are answers to the most frequently asked questions about capability statements …

What is a capability statement?

Quite simply, a capability statement is a document outlining information about your company, its strengths and your track record.

What makes Australian capability statements different from other countries?

In the USA, capability statements seem to generally consist of only one page and contain basic, factual information. They are often used by large organisations to ‘compare apples with apples’ when it comes to potential contractors or sub-contractors, so the single page layout is ideal for this purpose.

However, in Australia, most organisations require more detailed information so they can assess your company’s suitability for a project or contract. Depending on your business’ history and the requirements of your prospective clients, Australian capability statements generally range from 2-4 pages up to 24 pages or more, and everything in between. The vast majority are around 3-6 pages long.

What should I include in my capability statement?

While the exact topics and content is different with every single capability statement and the variations are endless, the basic contents remain the same. They are:

  • Business overview
  • Mission/vision/values
  • Services you provide
  • Core competencies
  • Contact details

Of course, a more comprehensive document will contain greater detail, including numerous case studies which clearly demonstrate your organisation’s ability to solve a particular problem and produce positive outcomes for your clients.

If building long term relationships with your clients is important, you may also wish to include a profile and photo of each key team member to initiate the “know, like and trust” factor.

It’s also a great idea to include your USP/UVP – unique selling proposition or unique value proposition. This is the one thing which truly sets you apart from your competitors.

How do you know what to include and what to leave out?

When a prospective client asks me to quote on writing their capability statement, I ask them, “What do you prospective clients need to know before they will do business with you?”. Think about your ideal client and those you’re aiming to attract.

Why can’t I just copy and paste another company’s capability statement?

Firstly, all written materials are copyright in Australia, so copying another company’s capability statement would not be a good idea, unless you’re happy to pay a hefty fine and/or potential court costs.

Secondly, imagine your embarrassment if you bid for the same job as the company you copied from … and the prospective client found out you’d copied your statement. Do you think you’d get the work?

It’s important to tailor the contents of your document to your audience. Remember, you must supply all the information your prospective clients require to make an informed decision about whether to engage your services… and this information varies between businesses. Depending on the size of the contracts you’re vying for, you may consider customising your capability statement for certain prospective clients.

Who should write your capability statement?

Savvy business owners engage a professional writer, such as myself, to write their capability statement. I often have clients remark that they lack the level of writing skill or expertise required to make a great first impression. My reply is usually something about my lack of electrical, engineering or building skills, so you wouldn’t want me doing any work in those trades! It’s awesome when we know what we’re good at – and we stick to it.

However, if you do have sound writing skills and/or your budget is limited, you can certainly compile a capability statement yourself. This task is much easier when you have a clear strategy, know what information you need to include and the structure of your document.

All this information is available in my capability statement kit. In this value-packed guide, you get all the information you need, plus some professional tips and tricks to help make your capability statement shine.

The capability statement kit is ideal for start-ups, budget-conscious business owners and those who are confident in their writing ability. Check out all the information here.

Are you a tradesperson? We’ve written a blog post with specific tips for tradies here.

 

Lyndall Guinery-Smith, owner of The Professional WriterHi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, business owner and chief word wrangler at The Professional Writer. My team and I write content dedicated to attracting and engaging your ideal clients … and improving your bottom line. This includes website content, capability statements, company profiles, team bios, business award nominations, blog post packages and more. We happily work with clients all over Australia. Email us to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.  

 

Capability Statement tips for tradies

The majority of capability statements I write are for Australian tradespeople. You’re great at what you do, but most of you don’t proactively market yourselves. Then the work dries up, panic often sets in and the search for the next job becomes urgent. That’s where having a capability statement ready to send out is vital.

This article outlines some basic capability statement tips to get you started with preparing your document.

What is a capability statement?

Think of a capability statement as a resume for your business. It’s a summary of your skills, expertise, services and your past performance – in short, your capabilities.

The purpose of a capability statement is to introduce your business to prospective partners or clients. It outlines why your business is suitable to work with them.

What are capability statements used for?

Often Tier 1 or Tier 2 builders will ask for your capability statement before they’ll consider working with you. Government organisations also require a capability statement, often as part of a tender document. When establishing relationships with potential Joint Venture partners, a capability statement can also be beneficial.

Capability Statement tips to get you started

Every capability statement is different. While it may be tempting to copy and paste from another company’s document, it’s really not advisable. It would undermine your credibility if a prospect discovered you had copied your document or imagine if you were to come up against the company you copied from on a tender or job bid? It would not look good for you!

Get started on creating your own unique capability statement by first giving some thought to the following questions:

  • Who is your intended audience?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • Think about prospective clients – what information do they need to know to make an informed decision?
  • Which factors which determine their choice of tradesperson?
  • What topics do you need to cover?

Decide who you’re targeting and the outcome you want to achieve, then you can start to think about the contents of your document.

The essential elements are:

  • Your business name and logo
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • ABN and ACN
  • License numbers
  • An introduction or overview of your business
  • List of your core competencies
  • Track record of performance
  • Your differentiators or Unique Selling Points
  • Your trade/educational qualifications

Additional contents can include, but are not limited to:

  • Geographical area you cover
  • Equipment you use
  • Techniques you use
  • Number of employees/vehicles on the road
  • WHS/risk management measures – policies and procedures, insurances, safety processes
  • Professional associations you are a member of
  • Bio/profile of your key team members
  • Major client list
  • Case studies of past projects
  • Testimonials from past clients
  • Charts/graphs/pictures/infographics where relevant

How long should a capability statement be?

The length of your document depends on your industry requirements and how much information you wish to convey. Some people prefer to keep it simple, while others like to include a full picture of the capabilities of their business.

In Australia, most tradespeople have a multi-page capability statement. The actual length will depend entirely on the topics you wish to cover and the depth of each.

A single-page summary can be helpful to include in tender documents or RFPs.

Important final tips for your capability statement

Before you send your document out to prospective clients, be sure to have someone else read through it. Check for any spelling, grammatical errors or typographical errors. Is the information clearly structured and easy to read? Does the document “sell” your business to the reader?

If creating your capability statement in Word, be sure to convert it to a PDF before sending it. This ensures the content stays the way you intend and it looks much more professional.

Need more help?

We trust the above capability statement tips will help you write a document which helps promote your business and secure future jobs.

As professional writers with over 20 years’ experience, we’ve successfully written many hundreds of documents which help my clients win more business. We partner with Australian small business owners – including lots of tradies – to create quality marketing materials, especially capability statements.

If you’d like to chat about how we can help your company put its best foot forward with an outstanding capability statement, please get in touch.

 

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, business owner and chief word wrangler at The Professional Writer. My team and I write content dedicated to attracting and engaging your ideal clients … and improving your bottom line. This includes website content, capability statements, company profiles, team bios, business award nominations, blog post packages and more. We happily work with clients all over Australia. Email us to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.  

business core values, identify your business values

Your Business Core Values: How to Identify Them

When I’m working with clients to write their capability statement, website content, tone of voice document or award nomination, I always ask about their business core values.

It’s surprising how many small business owners haven’t considered which core values are important to their business, but being clear on your values is something which can significantly impact the success of your business. This post explains why…

What are Business Core Values?

The core values of a business are an intangible yet fundamental asset which determine the company’s DNA, shape its culture and establish the core pillars which underpin the way you conduct business.

Business core values are the guiding principles you and your team use to shape expected behaviours and skills which set the environment within the workplace. Values define the way you form relationships within the team, with clients and with your competitors and are often an indicator by which cusses is defined and measured.

It’s a known fact that customers do business with people and businesses they know, like and trust. How do your prospects get to know, like and trust you? It all starts with the customer’s ability to relate to and respect your business or brand based on shared values.

When a company articulates their core values, potential clients form a relationship based on the values they share with your organisation.

Being clear on your core values can help you attract the type of customers who align with those values – the ones you want to work withyour ideal clients!

What are the other benefits of knowing your Values?

While your core business values underpin your culture and brand, they represent so much more. Values are the principles which define:

  • How you operate your business
  • How you attract the right team members, retain and motivate them
  • They support your business vision
  • Help you attract the right type of customers
  • Determine how the culture of the business is shaped
  • Provide a benchmark for performance
  • Determine how team members interact
  • Guide decision making
  • Help prioritise resource allocation and spending
  • Help set your brand apart

 

When your core values are successfully embraced and enacted by your team, your culture and the business as a whole will benefit.

In today’s fast-paced business environment, human resources often determine the level of success. A business culture which supports team members’ professional and personal development, enabling them to thrive, will always be more enticing, especially to top performers.

Recent research has determined that business culture is a primary factor in innovation.

Where can you use your Company Core Values?

  • Mission Statement
  • Company Profile
  • Capability Statement
  • Displayed in your business premises
  • Staff induction manual

 

How to identify your Core Values

Naturally, you’ll want to choose and display core values with a positive connotation.

Try asking yourself:

  • What is important to us?
  • What does our company stand for?
  • Which values support our company culture?
  • Which values guide our decision-making process?
  • What do our customers believe we stand for?
  • Which common values unite us as a team?
  • What are the strengths which underpin our success?

Choose core values which truly resonate with you as the business owner, with your team and which accurately portray the way you do business.

What do you value most?

Your core values are only effective when you and your team are committed live by them. Focus on what you value MOST. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this core value something we will continue to believe in 5-10 years down the track?
  • Are we willing to hire new team members based on this core value?
  • How can we put this value into practice to benefit our customers?
  • Will this core value help us innovate, grow and develop new products/services?

Start out by making a long list – you may have 20 or more at first. Next, group common values together, for example: integrity, honesty and transparency all overlap, so could be grouped under one term. Then go back over your list and shorten it to a maximum of 5-6 values which truly resonate with you and your team.

It’s important to remember that you can’t be all things to all people. Stay focused on the values which matter most to your business.

 

Lyndall Guinery-Smith The Professional Writer

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, business owner and chief word wrangler at The Professional Writer. My team and I write content dedicated to attracting and engaging your ideal clients … and improving your bottom line. This includes website content, capability statements, company profiles, team bios, business award nominations, blog post packages and more. We happily work with clients all over Australia. Email us to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.  

How to write a capability statement, contents of a capability statement, professional capability statement writer, professional writer

How to write a winning Capability Statement

Winning new business can be tough… but the right tools, such as a professional Capability Statement, can help get your foot in the door, followed by that all-important handshake.

In this article, I’ve answered the most frequently asked questions surrounding Capability Statements.

What is a Capability Statement?

A Capability Statement is a document which defines the capabilities, achievements and skills of your business. It is a clear and concise representation of what you offer to potential clients, what sets you apart from your competitors and your track record of accomplishments.

This document is about opening doors and building relationships with your potential clients and strategic partners. It’s important to tailor the content with your specific target audience in mind.

How long should your Capability Statement be?

What will you use the Capability Statement for? Is your intention to incorporate it into a tender document? If so, many companies who call for tenders prefer a single page statement so they can quickly and easily compare the capabilities of different organisations who tender. A single page statement is a brief overview and does not allow you to elaborate on your ability to deliver outcomes in any way.

I find the majority of clients seeking a professional Capability Statement writer require a comprehensive document with more detail than what can be provided in a single page.

What specific information should your document contain?

It’s important to note that every Capability Statement is different. The document needs to be tailored to your specific business and the audience you’re targeting.

Most documents of this type have some standard and some variable inclusions. The key ingredients must cover your capabilities, what sets you apart from your competitors (your Unique Selling Proposition or USP) and your proven track record of performance.

Consider your target audience before deciding which information to include. Think about … Who are you targeting? What outcomes can you deliver for them? How can you demonstrate your ability to achieve those specific outcomes?

Once you have a clear picture of your prospective clients or partners and what they’re looking for, you can start to go through the list of potential contents below:

  • Cover page, including ABN, ACN and full contact details
  • Business overview/introduction
  • About Us – Mission, vision, values
  • Differentiators or USP
  • Service you provide
  • Core competencies
  • Experience
  • Major client list
  • Organisational chart
  • Meet the team
  • Equipment
  • Area of operation
  • WHS
  • Environmental management policy
  • Quality assurance
  • Insurance
  • Professional associations
  • Awards and recognition
  • Community involvement
  • Client testimonials
  • Customer service philosophy
  • Call to action
  • Any other information your clients will need to make an informed decision to do business with you

Getting started

  1. Draft an outline
  2. Write down who your target audience is and list the outcomes you deliver for them
  3. Make a list of contents tailored to your target audience
  4. Consider how to demonstrate your ability
  5. Make notes on each of your capabilities
  6. Draft each section
  7. Format the document to present professionally
  8. Re-read, spell check, grammar check, edit and polish
  9. Ask a third party to proof-read the document
  10. Publish, PDF and send the document to your prospective clients

I hope the above tips provided you with some guidelines for writing a document which helps win more business. We specialise in partnering with small business owners to create quality marketing materials, especially capability statements. We can help your company put its best foot forward with an outstanding capability statement. Let’s chat – book a complimentary discovery session.

Lyndall Guinery-Smith The Professional Writer

Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, business owner and chief word wrangler at The Professional Writer. My team and I write content dedicated to attracting and engaging your ideal clients … and improving your bottom line. This includes website content, capability statements, company profiles, team bios, business award nominations, blog post packages and more. We happily work with clients all over Australia. Email us to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.