40 Things You Should Never Put in Your Capability Statement


Hello, I’m Isaac Barnes, a history-making government contractor recently awarded a $13.4 billion contract. Having navigated the intricate landscape of government contracting, I understand the critical importance of a well-crafted capability statement.

Through my experience, I’ve compiled a list of 40 things that should never find their way into your capability statement. These insights stem from years of honing my approach to securing contracts and building successful partnerships in the government sector.

Whether you’re a seasoned contractor or new to the field, these tips can help you refine your messaging and stand out in a competitive market.

Here are 40 things that should never go into your capability statement:

1. Unclear objectives that don’t align with your business’s core strengths.

2. Exaggerated claims about past performance or capabilities.

3. Generic and vague language that doesn’t differentiate your company.

4. Too much technical jargon that confuses rather than clarifies.

5. Incomplete contact information, making it hard for clients to reach you.

6. Outdated certifications or qualifications that are no longer relevant.

7. Irrelevant personal details that distract from your professional expertise.

8. Overly lengthy descriptions that lose the reader’s interest.

9. Grammatical errors or typos that reflect poorly on your attention to detail.

10. Lack of testimonials or references from satisfied clients.

11. Inconsistent formatting that makes your capability statement hard to read.

12. Unverified claims about your company’s financial stability or success.

13. Failing to showcase your unique value proposition and competitive advantages.

14. Ignoring industry standards or regulations in your sector.

15. Unsubstantiated claims about partnerships or collaborations with other organizations.

16. Using outdated design elements that make your capability statement look unprofessional.

17. Omitting important legal disclaimers or compliance information.

18. Overemphasis on past projects without highlighting your ability to innovate.

19. Lack of clarity on your target market or ideal client profile.

20. Failing to address potential risks or challenges in your business operations.

21. Ignoring feedback from previous clients or stakeholders.

22. Not including a clear call-to-action for potential clients to engage with you.

23. Overpromising and underdelivering on your services or products.

24. Using overly complex language that alienates non-technical readers.

25. Ignoring trends or changes in your industry that could impact your business.

26. Failing to demonstrate a track record of successful project delivery.

27. Not showcasing your team’s expertise and qualifications.

28. Using outdated or irrelevant case studies to demonstrate your capabilities.

29. Neglecting to highlight your company’s commitment to sustainability or social responsibility.

30. Failing to provide clear pricing or cost structures for your services.

31. Not including relevant industry certifications or accreditations.

32. Ignoring the importance of visual elements and design in your capability statement.

33. Omitting important milestones or achievements that showcase your company’s growth.

34. Using overly aggressive language or marketing tactics.

35. Failing to address potential conflicts of interest or ethical concerns.

36. Not including a summary or executive overview for busy readers.

37. Ignoring feedback from industry peers or mentors on your capability statement.

38. Overlooking the importance of networking and relationship-building in your document.

39. Using outdated technology or tools to create your capability statement.

40. Failing to update your capability statement regularly to reflect changes in your business or industry trends.

Isaac's Closing Questions

  1. What steps do you plan to take next based on the information shared today?
  2. Are there any specific challenges or obstacles you foresee in implementing these recommendations?