Winning new business can be tough… but with the right tools, such as a professional Capability Statement, you can get your foot in the door, build a strong relationship and look forward to the all-important handshake once you’ve won the project!
In this informative blog post, we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions surrounding Capability Statements for Australian tradies.
What is a Capability Statement?
A Capability Statement is a document that 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. A professional capability statement may contain several case studies of the projects you’ve completed, enabling your business to showcase its expertise.
Capability statements are often used by tradespeople to establish relationships with Tier 1 or Tier 2 builders. They are also regularly used to gain work in the government sector.
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.
What types of businesses use them?
A wide range of businesses use capability statements, however, they are most often required by those working in the trades, particularly construction-related businesses. Examples of tradie businesses who’ve grown their business by tapping into the power of these documents:
Builders, electricians, carpenters, plumbers, mechanical plumbers, tilers, plasterers, painting contractors, flooring specialists, lighting design supply and installation experts, asbestos removal specialists, building consultants, air conditioning technicians, landscapers, arborists, earthmoving contractors, civil engineers, excavation experts, communications and cabling specialists, diesel mechanics, cleaning contractors, security companies, property-related services such as real estate agents and buyer’s agents, waste management companies, logistics companies and many more business categories.
How to collate the best possible information
We strongly suggest you work in collaboration with others to collate the most relevant and best possible information for your capability statement. When it comes to determining which information to include, you could work with:
- Your team – brainstorm the topics and ask for their input, especially when it comes to the Track Record section
- Business coaches are often a great source of information about your qualifications, achievements and your capabilities
- Your life partner
- Past clients – if you have established a strong relationship with them
- Suppliers – if you have established a strong relationship with them
- Strategic partners – ask them why they like doing business with you and what it was that helped you to secure the business over your competitors – then include that information in your document
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 the different organisations that 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.
If you’re just after a single-page document, why not use our Capability Statement Kit? We’ve designed this product to contain everything you need to produce a quality single-page capability statement. This handy kit includes a comprehensive 16-page instruction booklet, an easy-to-use, editable template in Word, and a handy final checklist. At just $107 +GST, it’s an absolute bargain and we’ve had so many tradies win new business by using the kit to DIY their capability statement. The kit is ideal for those in a rush … you wouldn’t want to miss out on that tender because your tender application is incomplete, would you?
We 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. A multi-page document provides the opportunity to truly show your business in its best light.
What specific information is included in a business-winning statement?
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. The contents expected by readers can even vary between countries. The information in this post is intended specifically for use by Australian tradies and businesses.
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. However, the specific topics you include will depend on your business – including the length of time you’ve been trading, your capabilities and your achievements to date.
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? What specific details do they need to know in order to make an informed decision on whether to do business with you?
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 your USP
- Service you provide
- Core competencies
- Track Record – outline your experience
- Your major client list
- Meet the team – it’s important to profile key team members
- Equipment you use
- Area of operation
- WHS information
- Environmental management policy
- Quality assurance – only if ISO 9000/9001 certified
- Insurance details
- Professional associations
- Awards and recognition
- Community involvement
- Client testimonials
- Customer service philosophy
- Call to Action – how do you want readers to contact you? Phone, email, website?
- Any other information your clients will need to make an informed decision to do business with you
10 steps to prepare a winning Capability Statement
Following are our expert, easy to follow steps to successfully prepare a professional document for your business.
- Draft an outline
- Write down who your target audience is and list the outcomes you deliver for them
- Make a list of contents tailored to your target audience – select from the above list
- Consider the best way to demonstrate your business’ capability
- Make notes on each of your capabilities
- Draft each section
- Format the document to present professionally
- Re-read, spell check, grammar check, edit and polish
- Ask a third party to proofread the document
- Publish, PDF and send the document to your prospective clients
- WIN THE BUSINESS!
As with most trade jobs, the presentation and finishing touches on your capability statement are important. You can use Word to do a very basic design and convert it to a PDF or you could present your document with more colour and images using a graphic design app such as Canva, Picmonkey or similar programs.
If you’re taking the time to write a multi-page document and you want to make the best possible impression, it’s best practice to use a professional graphic designer. A good designer is worth their weight in gold. They can create a design that showcases your brand, with images of your work and your team, combining to make an outstanding first impression.
Decide where you want your capability statement to be displayed
Some companies choose to display their capability statement on their website. This makes it easy for prospective clients to access the information they require before contacting you. Others prefer not to upload the document, particularly where confidential information or client details are included, and provide access only on request. This is a decision only you can make.
Now it’s your turn…
We hope the above tips have assisted you in understanding what is involved in creating a winning capability statement. With our expert guidelines for writing a document, we trust the new capability statement helps your win more business.
In need of professional help?
At The Professional Writer, our experienced team collaborate with Australian small business owners to create quality, business winning capability statements. By taking the time to talk with you about your business, we learn precisely what makes you the best choice for the projects you’re aiming for. We then help your company put its best foot forward with an outstanding capability statement.
Our speciality is to work with you to extract the best information and write a capability statement that helps your business shine brightly. Once the text is written and approved, we can assist you with a Canva template or refer you to a creative, professional graphic designer, who can add those finishing touches to your document. Click below or go to our Contact page and complete the enquiry form to organise a quote and get ready to win more business.
Want to read more about how we’ve worked with other clients? Pop over to read our Client Success Stories. These are just a small sample of the fabulous outcomes we’ve achieved for our hundreds of clients.
If you found these tips helpful, please like and/or feel free to share them with your business associates or LinkedIn connections.
Want to learn more about capability statements? Check out:
Or if you’re looking to DIY a single page document in a hurry, take a look at our handy Capability Statement Kit. We’ve designed this kit based on our extensive experience in writing these types of documents. The kit includes a 16 page, step-by-step instruction booklet containing our expert guidance in capability statement preparation, a handy editable template in Word and a bonus checklist… all for just $107 AUD + GST. This kit is the ideal option for start-up tradies, those on a limited budget or anyone in a hurry to produce their document within a short timeframe.
Note – Post updated: February 2022