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Procurement Corner: Capability Statements…. ”The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”

Last month I posed the question: Are Business Cards Passé? “Probably not” was my conclusion. In my opinion, they have limited value, but are certainly useful for basic non-consequential “casual encounters”. However, I recommended that if your strategy is optimizing your marketing/branding effectiveness, consider creating a Capability Statement. What’s the difference between the two? Space, for one thing, 3 ½” X 2” versus 8 ½” X 11”; making the buyer’s job easier and faster with useful information/lasting impressions.

I also had suggested some simple content (see last month’s article) that we will look at in series over the next several months. Keep in mind that the thoughts I share are my own based on my professional procurement experience. I hope you find them useful when building your capability statement, but I encourage you to explore your own creativity,. Before starting, let me just say that if business cards are “working” for you, that’s fine, stay the course! But if you are looking beyond status quo to improve your marketing visibility, consider a capability statement. Having said that, let’s begin creating our first series: Logo, Contact Info, and Capabilities Statement.

Top of page:

Logo (if you have one). Logos generally impart little information so ‘size it’ proportionate to its message, small. Remember, we’re populating an 8½ X 11 single sheet, not the door of a pickup truck. Place the logo in the upper left or right-hand corner, whichever compliments overall appearance better. Try it in both, then decide. Directly beneath it, place a thin single line separating it from the text.

Next, contact info. Fairly straight forward: name, title, phones, email, company address and, website. How you arrange it though is very important; easy to read but conserving valuable space. If it appears “lengthy”, split into two columns, one to the far left, the other to the far right, ‘equal in length’. For example, three lines on each side. Symmetrical. To emphasize certain portions, bold and/or italicize, such as, and/or

And finally (for this series), Capabilities Statement. Give this allot of thought! Use Capabilities Statement as your title. Bold, italicized, centered or left-justified. What follows is critical. 2 – 3 concise sentences; avoid repetition and always be factual. First, introduce your company (name) and highlight your business size (woman- owned small business). Second, outline your product-line/service, core competencies and any specialties, plus years of experience. Lastly, conclude with a statement demonstrating ‘best value’. Always try to anticipate readers’ questions and incorporate answers as part of your strategy, as you may not be present when it’s read. In other words, avoid leaving things open to interpretation.

Your goal is creating lasting impressions/branding yourself. Capability statements are powerful tools that convey powerful messages. So as you design & build yours remember that more does not equal better; avoid information overload!

Remember the title from the Eastwood blockbuster movie, “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”….? When reviewing your capability statement, ask yourself which category from the movie title best describes it.


Scott Sealing is a Procurement Consultant with the UH SBDC (TX) and an America’s SBDC member. He also works closely with the UH PTAC (TX) and is an APTAC member. He specializes in counseling small businesses through the rigorous process of registering with government agencies, and then researching and bidding on government contracts. He also provides SBIR/STTR proposal development support. Scott has over 28 years of procurement and logistics experience working for A&D prime contractors on federal contracts. He supported NASA contracts in NM, TX, FL, AL CA and, DoD contracts in NM and CA. Scott is a certified Supply Chain Management (SCM) Professional (SCOR) and is certified in the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt curriculum. He has authored white papers on SCM and conducted domestic & international presentations for government, industry, and academia on procurement and supporting government contracts and, on the effective application of SCM tools & techniques.

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