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What Is Break-Even Analysis?

Break-even point formula.

  • Calculating BEP and Contribution Margin

Who Calculates the BEP?

Why break-even analysis matters, the bottom line.

  • Investing Basics

Break-Even Analysis: Formula and Calculation

Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, is a financial writer with 15+ years Wall Street experience as a derivatives trader. Besides his extensive derivative trading expertise, Adam is an expert in economics and behavioral finance. Adam received his master's in economics from The New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in sociology. He is a CFA charterholder as well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

break even in business plan

Gordon Scott has been an active investor and technical analyst or 20+ years. He is a Chartered Market Technician (CMT).

break even in business plan

Break-even analysis compares income from sales to the fixed costs of doing business. Five components of break-even analysis include fixed costs, variable costs, revenue, contribution margin, and break-even point (BEP). When companies calculate the BEP, they identify the amount of sales required to cover all fixed costs to begin generating a profit. The break-even point formula can help find the BEP in units or sales dollars.

Key Takeaways:

  • Using the break-even point formula, businesses can determine how many units or dollars of sales cover the fixed and variable production costs.
  • The break-even point (BEP) is considered a measure of the margin of safety.
  • Break-even analysis is used broadly, from stock and options trading to corporate budgeting for various projects.

Investopedia / Paige McLaughlin

Break-even analysis involves a calculation of the break-even point (BEP) . The break-even point formula divides the total fixed production costs by the price per individual unit, less the variable cost per unit.

BEP = Fixed Costs / (Price Per Unit - Variable Cost Per Unit)

Break-even analysis looks at the fixed costs relative to the profit earned by each additional unit produced and sold. A firm with lower fixed costs will have a lower break-even point of sale and $0 of fixed costs will automatically have broken even with the sale of the first product, assuming variable costs do not exceed sales revenue. Fixed costs remain the same regardless of how many units are sold. Examples of fixed and variable costs include:

Calculating the Break-Even Point and Contribution Margin

Break-even analysis and the BEP formula can provide firms with a product's contribution margin. The contribution margin is the difference between the selling price of the product and its variable costs. For example, if an item sells for $100, with fixed costs of $25 per unit, and variable costs of $60 per unit, the contribution margin is $40 ($100 - $60). This $40 reflects the revenue collected to cover the remaining fixed costs, which are excluded when figuring the contribution margin.

Contribution Margin = Item Price - Variable Cost Per Unit

To find the total units required to break even, divide the total fixed costs by the unit contribution margin. Assume total fixed costs are $20,000. With a contribution margin of $40 above, the break-even point is 500 units ($20,000 divided by $40). Upon selling 500 units, the payment of all fixed costs is complete, and the company will report a net profit or loss of $0.

BEP (Units) = Total Fixed Costs / Contribution Margin

To calculate the break-even point in sales dollars, divide the total fixed costs by the contribution margin ratio. The contribution margin ratio is the contribution margin per unit divided by the sale price.

Contribution Margin Ratio = Contribution Margin Per Unit / Item Price

BEP (Sales Dollars) = Total Fixed Costs / Contribution Margin Ratio

The contribution margin ratio is 40% ($40 contribution margin per item divided by $100 sale price per item). The break-even point in sales dollars is $50,000 ($20,000 total fixed costs divided by 40%).

In accounting, the margin of safety is the difference between actual sales and break-even sales. Managers utilize the margin of safety to know how much sales can decrease before the company or project becomes unprofitable.

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Financial Analysts
  • Stock and Option Traders
  • Government Agencies

Although investors are not interested in an individual company's break-even analysis on their production, they may use the calculation to determine at what price they will break even on a trade or investment. The calculation is useful when trading in or creating a strategy to buy options or a fixed-income security product.

  • Pricing : Businesses get a comprehensible perspective on their cost structure with a break-even analysis, setting prices for their products that cover their fixed and variable costs and provide a reasonable profit margin.
  • Decision-Making : When it comes to new products and services, operational expansion, or increased production, businesses can chart their profit to sales volume and use break-even analysis to help them make informed decisions surrounding those activities.
  • Cost Reduction : Break-even analysis helps businesses find areas to reduce costs to increase profitability.
  • Performance Metric: Break-even analysis is a financial performance tool that helps businesses ascertain where they are in achieving their goals.

What Are Some Limitations of Break-Even Analysis?

Break-even analysis assumes that the fixed and variable costs remain constant over time. Costs may change due to factors such as inflation, changes in technology, or changes in market conditions. It also assumes that there is a linear relationship between costs and production. Break-even analysis ignores external factors such as competition, market demand, and changes in consumer preferences.

What Are the Components of Break-Even Analysis?

There are five components of break-even analysis including fixed costs, variable costs, revenue, contribution margin, and the break-even point (BEP).

Why Is the Contribution Margin Important in Break-Even Analysis?

The contribution margin represents the revenue required to cover a business' fixed costs and contribute to its profit. Through the contribution margin calculation, a business can determine the break-even point and where it can begin earning a profit.

How Do Businesses Use the Break-Even Point in Break-Even Analysis?

The break-even point (BEP) helps businesses with pricing decisions, sales forecasting, cost management, and growth strategies. A business would not use break-even to measure its repayment of debt or how long that repayment will take to complete.

Break-even analysis is a tool used by businesses and stock and option traders. Break-even analysis is essential in determining the minimum sales volume required to cover total costs and break even. It helps businesses choose pricing strategies, and manage costs and operations. In stock and options trading, break-even analysis helps find the minimum price movements required to cover trading costs and make a profit. Traders can use break-even analysis to set realistic profit targets, manage risk, and make informed trading decisions.

U.S. Small Business Administration. " Break-Even Point ."

Professor Rosemary Nurre, College of San Mateo. " Accounting 131: Chapter 6, Cost-Volume-Profit Relationships ."

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Break-Even Analysis Explained - Full Guide With Examples

Deskera Content Team

Did you know that 30% of operating small businesses are losing money? Running your own business is trickier than it sounds. You have to plan ahead carefully to break-even or be profitable in the long run.

Building your own small business is one of the most exciting, challenging, and fun things you can do in this generation.

To start and sustain a small business it is important to know financial terms and metrics like net sales, income statement and most importantly break-even point .

Performing break-even analysis is a crucial activity for making important business decisions and to be profitable in business.

So how do you do it? That is what we will go through in this article. Some of the key takeaways for you when you finish this guide would be:

  • Understand what break-even point is
  • Know why it is important
  • Learn how to calculate break-even point
  • Know how to do break-even analysis
  • Understand the limitations of break-even analysis

So, if you are tired of your nine-to-five and want to start your own business, or are already living your dream, read on.

break even in business plan

What is Break-Even Point?

Small businesses that succeeds are the ones that focus on business planning to cross the break-even point, and turn profitable .

In a small business, a  break-even point is a point at which total revenue equals total costs or expenses. At this point, there is no profit or loss — in other words, you 'break-even'.

Break-even as a term is used widely, from stock and options trading to corporate budgeting as a margin of safety measure.

On the other hand, break-even analysis lets you predict, or forecast your break-even point. This allows you to course your chart towards profitability.

Managers typically use break-even analysis to set a price to understand the economic impact of various price and sales volume calculations.

The total profit at the break-even point is zero. It is only possible for a small business to pass the break-even point when the dollar value of sales is greater than the fixed + variable cost per unit.

Every business must develop a break-even point calculation for their company. This will give visibility into the number of units to sell, or the sales revenue they need, to cover their variable and fixed costs.

Importance of Break-Even Analysis for Your Small Business

A business could be bringing in a lot of money; however, it could still be making a loss. Knowing the break-even point helps decide prices, set sales targets, and prepare a business plan.

The break-even point calculation is an essential tool to analyze critical profit drivers of your business, including sales volume, average production costs, and, as mentioned earlier, the average sales price. Using and understanding the break-even point, you can measure

  • how profitable is your present product line
  • how far sales drop before you start to make a loss
  • how many units you need to sell before you make a profit
  • how decreasing or increasing price and volume of product will affect profits
  • how much of an increase in price or volume of sales you will need to meet the rise in fixed cost

How to Calculate Break-Even Point

There are multiple ways to calculate your break-even point.

break even in business plan

Calculate Break-even Point based on Units

One way to calculate the break-even point is to determine the number of units to be produced for transitioning from loss to profit.

For this method, simply use the formula below:

Break-Even Point (Units) = Fixed Costs ÷ (Revenue per Unit – Variable Cost per Unit)

Fixed costs are those that do not change no matter how many units are sold. Don't worry, we will explain with examples below. Revenue is the income, or dollars made by selling one unit.

Variable costs include cost of goods sold, or the acquisition cost. This may include the purchase cost and other additional costs like labor and freight costs.

Calculate Break-Even Point by Sales Dollar - Contribution Margin Method

Divide the fixed costs by the contribution margin. The contribution margin is determined by subtracting the variable costs from the price of a product. This amount is then used to cover the fixed costs.

Break-Even Point (sales dollars) = Fixed Costs ÷ Contribution Margin

Contribution Margin = Price of Product – Variable Costs

Let’s take a deeper look at the some common terms we have encountered so far:

  • Fixed costs: Fixed costs are not affected by the number of items sold, such as rent paid for storefronts or production facilities, office furniture, computer units, and software. Fixed costs also include payment for services like design, marketing, public relations, and advertising.
  • Contribution margin:   Is calculated by subtracting the unit variable costs from its selling price. So if you’re selling a unit for $100 and the cost of materials is $30, then the contribution margin is $70. This $70 is then used to cover the fixed costs, and if there is any money left after that, it’s your net profit.
  • Contribution margin ratio: is calculated by dividing your fixed costs from your contribution margin. It is expressed as a percentage. Using the contribution margin, you can determine what you need to do to break-even, like cutting fixed costs or raising your prices.
  • Profit earned following your break-even: When your sales equal your fixed and variable costs, you have reached the break-even point. At this point, the company will report a net profit or loss of $0. The sales beyond this point contribute to your net profit.

Small Business Example for Calculating Break-even Point

To show how break-even works, let’s take the hypothetical example of a high-end dressmaker. Let's assume she must incur a fixed cost of $45,000 to produce and sell a dress.

These costs might cover the software and materials needed to design the dress and be sure it meets the requirement of the brand, the fee paid to a designer to design the look and feel of the dress, and the development of promotional materials used to advertise the dress.

These costs are fixed as they do not change per the number of dresses sold.

The variable costs would include the materials used to make each dress — embellishment’s for $30, the fabric for the body for $20, inner lining for $10 — and the labor required to assemble the dress, which amounted to one and a half hours for a worker earning $50 per hour.

Thus, the unit variable costs to make a single dress is $110 ($60 in materials and $50 in labor). If she sells the dress for $150, she’ll make a unit margin of $40.

Given the $40 unit margin she’ll receive for each dress sold, she will cover her $45,500 total fixed cost will be covered if she sells:

Break-Even Point (Units) = $45,000 ÷ $40 = 1,125 Units

You can see per the formula , on the right-hand side, that the Break-even is 1,125 dresses or units

In other words, if this dressmaker sells 1,125 units of this particular dress, then she will fully recover the $45,000 in fixed costs she invested in production and selling. If she sells fewer than 1,125 units, she will lose money. And if she sells more than 1,125 units, she will turn a profit. That’s the break-even point.

break even in business plan

What if we change the price?

Suppose our dressmaker is worried about the current demand for dresses and has concerns about her firm’s sales and marketing capabilities, calling into question her ability to sell 1,125 units at a price of $150. What would be the effect of increasing the price to $200?

This would increase the unit margin to $90.Then the number of units to be sold would decline to 500 units. With this information, the dressmaker could assess whether she was better off trying to sell 1,125 dresses at $150 or 500 dresses at $200, and priced accordingly.

What if we want to make an investment and increase the fixed costs?

Break-even analysis also can be used to assess how sales volume would need to change to justify other potential investments. For instance, consider the possibility of keeping the price at $150, but having a celebrity endorse the dress (think Madonna!) for a fee of $20,000.

This would be worthwhile if the dressmaker believed that the endorsement would result in total sales of $66,000 (the original fixed cost plus the $20,000 for Ms. Madonna).

With the Fixed Costs at $66,000 we see, it would only be worthwhile if the dressmaker believed that the endorsement would result in total sales of 1,650 units.

In other words, if the endorsement led to incremental sales of 525 dress units, the endorsement would break-even. If it led to incremental sales of greater than 525 dresses, it would increase profits.

What if we change the variable cost of producing a good?

Break-even also can be used to examine the impact of a potential change to the variable cost of producing a good.

Imagine that our dressmaker could switch from using a rather plain $20 fabric for the dress to a higher-end $40 fabric, thereby increasing the variable cost of the dress from $110 to $130 and decreasing the unit margin from $40 to $20. How much would your sales need to increase to compensate for the extra cost?

Suppose the Variable Cost is $130 (and the Fixed Cost is $45,000 – our dressmaker can’t afford to have nice fabric plus get Ms. Madonna). It would make better sense to switch to the nicer fabric if the dressmaker thought it would result in sales of 2,250 units, an additional 1125 dresses, which is double the number of initial sale numbers.

You likely aren’t a dressmaker or able to get a celebrity endorsement from Ms. Madonna, but you can use break-even analysis to understand how the various changes of your product, from revenue, costs, sales, impact your small business’s profitability .

What Are the Benefits of Doing a Break-even Analysis?

Smart Pricing : Finding your break-even point will help you price your products better. A lot of effort and understanding goes into effective pricing, but knowing how it will affect your profitability is just as important. You need to make sure you can pay all your bills.

Cover Fixed Costs : When most people think about pricing, they think about how much their product costs to create. Those are considered variable costs. You will still need to cover your fixed costs like insurance or web development fees. Doing a break-even analysis helps you do that.

Avoid Missing Expenses : When you do a break-even analysis, you have to lay out all your financial commitments to figure out your break-even point. It’s easy to forget about expenses when you’re thinking through a business idea.  This will limit the number of surprises down the road.

Brainstorming over paper

Setting Revenue Targets : After completing a break-even analysis, you know exactly how much you need to sell to be profitable. This will help you set better sales goals for you and your team.

Decision Making : Usually, business decisions are based on emotion. How you feel is important, but it’s not enough. Successful entrepreneurs make their decisions based on facts. It will be a lot easier to decide when you’ve put in the work and have useful data in front of you.

Manage Financial Strain : Doing a break-even analysis will help you avoid failures and limit the financial toll that bad decisions can have on your business. Instead, you can be realistic about the potential outcomes by being aware of the risks and knowing when to avoid a business idea.

Business Funding : For any funding or investment, a break-even analysis is a key component of any business plan. You have to prove your plan is viable. It’s usually a requirement if you want to take on investors or other debt to fund your business.

When to Use Break-even Analysis

Starting a new business.

If you’re thinking about a small online business or e-commerce, a break-even analysis is a must. Not only does it help you decide if your business idea is viable, but it makes you research and be realistic about costs, as well as think through your pricing strategy.

Creating a new product

Especially for a small business, you should still do a break-even analysis before starting or adding on a new product in case that product is going to add to your expenses. There will be a need to work out the variable costs related to your new product and set prices before you start selling.

Adding a new sales channel

If you add a new sales channel, your costs will change. Let's say you have been selling online, and you’re thinking about opening an offline store; you’ll want to make sure you at least break-even with the brick and mortar costs added in. Adding additional marketing channels or expanding social media spends usually increases daily expenses. These costs need to be part of your break-even analysis.

Changing the business model

Let's say you are thinking about changing your business model; for example, switching from buying inventory to doing drop shipping or vice-versa, you should do a break-even analysis. Your costs might vary significantly, and this will help you figure out if your prices need to change too.

Limitations of Break-even Analysis

  • The Break-even analysis focuses mostly on the supply-side (i.e., costs only) analysis. It doesn't tell us what sales are actually likely to be for the product at various prices.
  • It assumes that fixed costs are constant. However, an increase in the scale of production is likely to lead to an increase in fixed costs.
  • It assumes average variable costs are constant per unit of output, per the range of the number of sales
  • It assumes that the number of goods produced is equal to the number of goods sold. It believes that there is no change in the number of goods held in inventory at the beginning of the period and the number of goods held in inventory at the end of the period
  • In multi-product companies,  the relative proportions of each product sold and produced are fixed or constant.

So that's a wrap. Hope you found this article interesting and informative. Feel free to subscribe to our blog to get updates on awesome new content we publish for small business owners.

Key Takeaways

Break-even analysis is infinitely valuable as it sets the framework for pricing structures, operations, hiring employees, and obtaining future financial support.

  • You can identify how much, or how many, you have to sell  to be profitable.
  • Identify costs inside your business that should be alleviated or eliminated.
Remember, any break-even analysis is only as strong as its underlying assumptions.

Like many forecasting metrics, break-even point is subject to it's limitations; however it can be a powerful and simple tool to provide a small business owner with an idea of what their sales need to be in order to start being profitable as quickly as possible.

Lastly, please understand that break-even analysis is not a predictor of demand .

If you go to market with the wrong product or the wrong price, it may be tough to ever hit the break-even point. To avoid this, make sure you have done the groundwork before setting up your business.

Head over to our small business guide on setting up a new business if you want to know more.

Want to calculate break even point quickly? Use our handy break-even point calculator.

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What Is Break-Even Analysis and How to Calculate It for Your Business?

Rami Ali

You may have an idea that spurs you to open a business or launch a new product on little more than a hope and a dream. Or, you might just be thinking about expanding a product offering or hiring additional personnel. It’s wise, however, to limit your risk before jumping in. A break-even analysis will reveal the point at which your endeavor will become profitable—so you can know where you’re headed before you invest your money and time.

A break-even analysis will provide fodder for considerations such as price and cost adjustments. It can tell you whether you may need to borrow money to keep your business afloat until you’re pocketing profits, or whether the endeavor is worth pursuing at all.

What Is Break-Even Analysis?

A break-even analysis is a financial calculation that weighs the costs of a new business, service or product against the unit sell price to determine the point at which you will break even. In other words, it reveals the point at which you will have sold enough units to cover all of your costs. At that point, you will have neither lost money nor made a profit.

Key Takeaways

  • A break-even analysis reveals when your investment is returned dollar for dollar, no more and no less, so that you have neither gained nor lost money on the venture.
  • A break-even analysis is a financial calculation used to determine a company’s break-even point (BEP). In general, lower fixed costs lead to a lower break-even point.
  • A business will want to use a break-even analysis anytime it considers adding costs—remember that a break-even analysis does not consider market demand.
  • There are two basic ways to lower your break-even point: lower costs and raise prices.

How Break-Even Analysis Works

A break-even analysis is a financial calculation used to determine a company’s break-even point (BEP). It is an internal management tool, not a computation, that is normally shared with outsiders such as investors or regulators. However, financial institutions may ask for it as part of your financial projections on a bank loan application.

The formula takes into account both fixed and variable costs relative to unit price and profit. Fixed costs are those that remain the same no matter how much product or service is sold. Examples of fixed costs include facility rent or mortgage, equipment costs, salaries, interest paid on capital, property taxes and insurance premiums.

Variable costs rise and fall according to changes in sales. Examples of variable costs include direct hourly labor payroll costs, sales commissions and costs for raw material, utilities and shipping. Variable costs are the sum of the labor and material costs it takes to produce one unit of your product.

Total variable cost is calculated by multiplying the cost to produce one unit by the number of units you produced. For example, if it costs $10 to produce one unit and you made 30 of them, then the total variable cost would be 10 x 30 = $300.

What is Contribution Margin?

The contribution margin is the difference (more than zero) between the product’s selling price and its total variable cost. For example, if a suitcase sells at $125 and its variable cost is $15, then the contribution margin is $110. This margin contributes to offsetting fixed costs.

Unit Contribution Margin = Sales Price – Variable Costs

The average variable cost is calculated as your total variable cost divided by the number of units produced.

In general, lower fixed costs lead to a lower break-even point—but only if variable costs are not higher than sales revenue.

Why Does Your Business Need to Perform Break-Even Analysis?

A break-even analysis has broad uses on its own merit. But it’s also a critical element of financial projections for startups and new or expanded product lines. Use it to determine how much seed money or startup capital you’ll need, and whether you’ll need a bank loan.

More mature businesses use break-even analyses to evaluate their risks in a variety of activities such as moving innovative ideas to production, adding or deleting products from the product mix and other scenarios. One example is in budgeting the addition of a new employee. A break-even analysis will reveal how many additional sales it will take to break even on expenses associated with the new hire.

What Is a Standard Break-Even Time Period?

An acceptable break-even window is six to 18 months. If your calculation determines a break-even point will take longer to reach, you likely need to change your plan to reduce costs, increase pricing or both. A break-even point more than 18 months in the future is a strong risk signal.

When to Use a Break-Even Analysis

Basically, a business will want to use a break-even analysis anytime it considers adding costs. These additional costs could come from starting a business, a merger or acquisition, adding or deleting products from the product mix, or adding locations or employees.

In other words, you should use a break-even analysis to determine the risk and value of any business investment, especially when one of these three events occurs:

1. Expanding a business

Break-even points (BEP) will help business owners/CFOs get a reality check on how long it will take an investment to become profitable. For example, calculating or modeling the minimum sales required to cover the costs of a new location or entering a new market.

2. Lowering pricing

Sometime businesses need to lower their pricing strategy to beat competitors in a specific market segment or product. So, when lowering pricing, businesses need to figure out how many more units they need to sell to offset or makeup a price decrease.

3. Narrowing down business scenarios

When making changes to the business, there are various scenarios and what-ifs on the table that complicate decisions about which scenario to go with. BEP will help business leaders reduce decision-making to a series of yes or no questions.

How Do You Calculate the Break-Even Point?

ERP and accounting software with managerial accounting features will typically calculate your BEP for you, but you may want to understand what goes into that equation.

Break-even analysis formula

Break-even quantity = Fixed costs / (Sales price per unit – Variable cost per unit)

You can also use our break-even analysis template.

Use Our Break-Even Analysis Template

Find your break-even point by using this break-even analysis template, customizable to your business.

Get the template

Break-even analysis example

Beth has dreams of opening a gourmet cupcake store. She does a break-even analysis to determine how many cupcakes she’ll have to sell to break even on her investment. She’s done the math, so she knows her fixed costs for one year are $10,000 and her variable cost per unit is $.50. She’s done a competitor study and some other calculations and determined her unit price to be $6.00.

$10,000 / ($6 – $0.50) = 1,819 cupcakes that Beth must sell in one year to break even

The Limitations of a Break-Even Analysis

The most important thing to remember is that break-even analysis does not consider market demand. Knowing that you need to sell 500 units to break even does not tell you if or when you can sell those 500 units. Don’t let your passion for the business idea or new product cause you to lose sight of that basic truth.

On the flip side, you’ll need to decide how much effort and time you’re willing to expend to reach the break-even point. For example, are you willing to invest a substantial percentage of your sales team’s time and effort over several months to reach the break-even point? Or, is producing and selling something else a better and more profitable use of time and effort?

If you find demand for the product is soft, consider changing your pricing strategy to move product faster. However, discounted pricing can actually raise your break-even point. If you’re not careful, you’ll move product faster at the lower price but will incur more variable costs to produce more units in order to reach your break-even point.

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How to Lower Your Break-Even Point

There are two basic ways to lower your break-even point: lower costs and raise prices. But neither should be done in a vacuum. Weigh your options carefully in pricing methods and consumer psychology to make sure you don’t sell more product but lose money in the bargain.

Further, consider all elements of costs, such as the associated quality and delivery, before slashing them to prevent damage to your brand. Outsourcing products or service can also reduce costs when demand or volume increase.

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Break-Even Analysis: What It Is and How to Calculate

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A break-even analysis helps business owners find the point at which their total costs and total revenue are equal, also known as the break-even point in accounting . This lets them know how much product they need to sell to cover the cost of doing business.

At the break-even point, you’ve made no profit, but you also haven’t incurred any losses. This metric is important for new businesses to determine if their ideas are viable, as well as for seasoned businesses to identify operational weaknesses.

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What is the break-even analysis formula?

The break-even analysis formula requires three main pieces of information:

Fixed costs per month: Fixed costs are what your business has to pay no matter how many units you sell. This could include rent, business insurance , business loan payments, accounting and legal services and utilities.

Sales price per unit: This is the amount of money you will charge the customer for every single unit of product or service you sell. Make sure to include any discounts or special offers you give customers. If you sell multiple products or services, figure out the average selling price for everything combined.

Variable costs per unit: These are the costs you incur for each unit you sell. They may include labor, the price of raw materials or sales commissions, and they are subject to change as sales fluctuate. To calculate, multiply the number of units produced by the costs of producing just one unit.

From there, the break-even point can be calculated in units.

Break-even point in units = fixed costs / (sales price per unit – variable costs per unit)

This gives you the number of units you need to sell to cover your costs per month. Anything you sell above this number is profit. Anything below this number means your business is losing money.

Once you’re above the break-even point, every additional unit you sell increases profit by the amount of the unit contribution margin. This is the amount each unit contributes to paying off fixed costs and increasing profits, and it’s the denominator of the break-even analysis formula. To find it, subtract variable costs per unit from sales price per unit.

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Break-even analysis example

Let's say you're thinking about starting a furniture manufacturing business. The first unit you're going to sell is a table. How many tables would you need to sell in order to break even?

If it costs $50 to make a table and you have fixed costs of $1,000, the number of tables you must sell to break even varies depending on price. Here are two scenarios:

If you sell a table at $100: $1,000 / ($100 — $50) = 20 tables

If you sell a table at $200: $1,000 / ($200 — $50) = 6.7 tables

This is a great example of how selling a product for a higher price allows you to reach the break-even point significantly faster. However, you need to think about whether your customers would pay $200 for a table, given what your competitors are charging.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s picks for the best small-business accounting software

When to use break-even analysis

Break-even analysis formulas can help you compare different pricing strategies.

For example, if you raise the price of a product, you’d have to sell fewer items, but it might be harder to attract buyers. You can lower the price, but would then need to sell more of a product to break even. It can also hint at whether it’s worth using less expensive materials to keep the cost down, or taking out a longer-term business loan to decrease monthly fixed costs.

Here are a few specific situations where a break-even analysis is especially useful:

Starting a new business: When starting a business , break-even analysis can help you figure out the viability of your product or service. If you do this analysis along with writing a business plan, you can spot weak points in your company's financial strategy and develop a plan to address them.

Launching a new product or service: Whenever you launch a new product or service, you'll need to determine its sale price and how much it costs to produce it. Using a break-even analysis, you can see how both of these factors affect your profitability. Eventually, you can choose a price that's fair to customers and realistic for your company.

Adding a new sales channel: If your business model changes to incorporate a new sales channel, that's a good opportunity to do a break-even analysis. For example, if you have a brick-and-mortar store but want to start an e-commerce business, your costs and pricing might change. You should make sure you at least break even so that you don't put too much financial strain on your business.

This article originally appeared on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

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Break-Even Analysis Explained—How to Find the Break-Even Point

Posted november 2, 2022 by kiara taylor.

break even in business plan

Conducting a break-even analysis is a crucial tool for small business owners. If you’re planning on launching a business, writing a business plan , or just exploring a new product, knowing your break-even point can tell you whether or not a product or service is a good idea.

In this guide, we’ll cover what a break-even point is, why it’s critical to calculate, how to calculate it, and additional factors you should consider. 

What is the break-even point?

The break-even point is where an asset’s market price equals its original cost. Put another way; the break-even point is when the total revenues of a certain production level equal the total expenses of producing that product. For small business owners, it’s essentially the amount that you need to earn in order to cover your costs.  

Why you should know your break-even point

So, why is knowing your break-even point so important? Here are a few important reasons to consider.

Minimize risk

Risk comes in various forms , but break-even points can help you understand the viability of certain products before they’re even launched. 

For example, before even sending an order to a factory, you can already know how many units you need to sell and what expenses will go into making that product. Understanding this is key whether you’re launching a business for the first time or starting a new product line.

Identify unseen expenses

Running a break-even analysis forces you to outline all potential expenses associated with an initiative. Expenses that you’d otherwise miss without it. Usually, these expenses come from the fixed and variable costs of production. In this process, you can often identify unexpected expenses that you may not have considered before.

Appropriately price your products/services

Because your break-even point concerns the price relationship to your expenses, you can calculate different break-even points based on sold units or different pricing schemes. For example, you may find that your product is unprofitable at a certain price point except at extremely large scales. 

If that’s the case, you can explore higher price points. However, it’s important that you do not do this in isolation. Instead, use this exercise to understand potential pricing options and begin testing them with your target customers .

Prepare for funding

If you’re seeking funding for your business, this information is often expected or required by lenders and investors . It helps them gauge the viability of your idea and determine what level of funding is appropriate. For you as a business owner, it can help you determine how much funding you think you’ll need and even identify how you’ll use those funds.

How to calculate the break-even point

To calculate your break-even point, you’ll need to know the following: 

  • Fixed costs: Expenses that remain consistent no matter your sales volume.
  • Variable costs: Expenses that change depending on your sales/production volume.
  • Sales price: The price that you intend to sell the product/service for.

Break-even point formula

The break-even point is calculated using your fixed costs and your contribution margin. The contribution margin is the selling price of the product minus the total variable costs. Your selling price is usually the amount you place on any customer invoices. 

The contribution margin formula is:

Contribution Margin = Selling Price – Total Variable Costs

Once you have the contribution margin, you then take the total fixed costs per unit and divide those costs by the contribution margin. This will give you the break-even number of units required to offset your costs.

The break-even point formula is:

Break-Even Point = Fixed Costs / Contribution Margin

Break-even point example

Now that you know the formula for calculating your break-even point let’s put it into practice.

Imagine you are the owner of a small paper company and considering adding a new line of paper to your available products. You expect to sell a ream of paper for $5.00. 

The variable costs of the ream of the paper include: 

  • $1.00 for the paper itself
  • $0.50 for the packaging of the ream
  • $0.50 of costs to package each ream

According to this information, you have $2.00 in variable costs. Using the formula mentioned above, we can calculate the contribution margin for your paper ream:

$5.00 – $2.00 = $3.00

Next, we’ll incorporate fixed costs to determine how many units need to be sold. After holding an office meeting in the conference room, you determine that the following fixed costs are associated with producing reams of paper:

  • $50.00 in salaries
  • $50.00 in office rent
  • $50.00 for monthly shipments from the paper factory

Your total fixed costs come to: $50.00 + $50.00 + $50.00 = $150.00.

Lastly, we’ll calculate the break-even point: $150.00 / $3.00 = 50 units. To break even, you would need to sell 50 reams of paper. 

Maximizing your break-even point formulas

You can also utilize this calculation to figure out your break-even point in dollars. This is done by dividing the total fixed costs by the contribution margin ratio. You can figure out your contribution margin ratio by taking the contribution margin per unit and dividing it by the sales price. 

Your contribution margin ratio using the data from the above example is:

$3.00 (your contribution margin) / $5.00 (price per one ream of paper) = 60%.

Finally, divide your total fixed costs ($150.00) by your contribution margin ratio (60%) to calculate the break-even point in dollars:

$150.00 / 60% = $250.00 in sales

You can confirm your findings by multiplying your break-even point in units (50) by the sales price ($5.00):

50 x $5.00 = $250.00

What is a standard break-even time period?

The standard break-even period is hard to predict and fully depends on your business. However, once you know your break-even point, you can gauge the time it will take to break even more accurately.

Your break-even period is the amount of time it takes you to sell enough units to break even. This means that the only thing holding back your ability to break even is how fast you sell your units.

The formula to calculate your break-even time period is:

Break-Even Time Period = Break-Even Units / Amount Sold per Period (Period)

If we return to the paper company example, we can estimate what the break-even period is. After reviewing your financials, you learn that the average number of reams you expect to sell daily is 5. Now, take your number of break-even units (50) and divide them by the amount sold in a given period (5):

50 / 5 = 10. Under this analysis, you would break even in approximately 10 days.

However, it’s important to remember that fixed costs, which are an important part of calculating your break-even point, may accumulate faster than you can sell your product. In that case, you’ll need to factor this into your analysis.

How to lower your break-even point

Everyone wants to lower their break-even point because it typically leads to greater profitability at a faster rate. But how do you lower your break-even point? The key thing to remember is that it’s a ratio of your fixed and variable costs. To reduce your break-even point, you’ll need to lower one or both.

One of the most efficient ways to reduce your break-even point is to start by reducing variable costs. Keep in mind that variable costs are associated with each unit. Other fixed costs, those that exist regardless, like the $20-$80 you pay for your employees’ no medical life insurance every month, can be more difficult to eliminate because they are essential.

What you can do with a break-even analysis

Conducting an initial break-even analysis is incredibly useful when starting a business. But, did you know that you can use it on an ongoing basis as part of your management process ? Here are a few key uses you can leverage.

Determine if your prices are correct

A break-even analysis can be used to continuously audit and fine-tune your pricing strategy. If you find sales are missing expectations, you can reference this calculation to easily understand what quantities must be sold if you decide to adjust the price. 

Explore current fixed and variable costs

You can also explore how different costs impact your bottom line. At the end of the day, your business needs to know what costs are impacting its ability to generate revenue. A break-even analysis can help you understand whether some products may be costing you more money than their worth. For example, products with low contribution margins or ratios might be too expensive to keep in production.

Narrow down financial scenarios

Finally, you can use your break-even analyses as part of any forecast scenarios that you explore. By changing numbers in your formula, you can test different types of prices and quantities based on perceived consumer interest. This can help inform a larger analysis of your sales, cash, and expenses based on how reasonable your price and volume adjustments are.

Other metrics to consider

Now that you understand break-even points and break-even analysis, you’ll be able to put them to work for your business. Remember, this is just a piece of measuring business performance and there are other valuable metrics you should be tracking. You can do this manually with spreadsheets, leverage budgeting and accounting software, or better explore future performance with LivePlan’s performance tracking and forecasting features .

Whatever option you choose, the important thing is that you are aware of these metrics and actively using them. It will help you better understand the health of your business, make more strategic decisions, and ultimately grow your business.

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5 Easy Steps to Creating a Break-Even Analysis

  • What Break-Even is Used For

Gathering Information for Analysis

  • Steps to Break-Even Analysis

Analyzing a Break-Even Chart

Break-even is one of those vital numbers that can mean success or failure to a small business. If you are breaking even your income is are equal to your costs. You have no profit or loss at this point. But, above the break-even point, every dollar of sales is pure profit.   

How to Use a Break-Even Analysis in Financial Planning

A break-even analysis is important in several different situations: 

  • As your business plans new products, knowing the break-even point helps you price more efficiently.
  • As you plan your overall business cash and profit strategy, break-even can be used to determine profit points for product lines. 
  • As your business plans for financing, knowing your overall company breakeven point can help make your case for a business loan. 

A lender or investor will probably want to see this information in the financial report section of your business plan .

Before you begin your break-even analysis, you'll need some information. Let's say you're dong an analysis for a potential new product. Make a list of all your costs and expenses relating to that product, including facilities, the cost of materials and supplies, machines or equipment, and costs for paying employees to make the product and prepare it to ship.

You'll also need to know two other pieces of information:

  • The range of prices you are considering, starting at $0.00
  • The range of quantities you estimate being able to sell, starting at none (0)

You will need to separate out fixed costs and variable costs . Fixed costs are those you must pay even if you have no sales (like rent and utilities). Variable costs are those you spend to make and sell and ship products (like raw materials, supplies, and labor).

5 Steps to Creating a Break-Even Analysis

Here are the steps to take to determine break-even:

  • Determine variable unit costs: Determine the variable costs of producing one unit of this product. Variable costs are those costs associated with making the product or buying it wholesale. If you are making a product, you will need to know the cost of all the components that go into that product. For example, if you are printing books, your variable unit costs are paper, binding, and glue for one book, and the cost to put one book together.
  • Determine fixed costs: Fixed costs are costs to keep your business operating, even if you didn't produce any products. To determine fixed costs, add up the cost of running your factory for one month. These costs would include rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance, salaries of non-production employees, and all other costs. Don't forget the cost to design the product and packaging, make the prototype, and maybe patent your product.
  • Determine unit selling price: Determine the unit selling price for your product. This price may change as you see where your break-even point is.
  • Determine sales volume and unit price: The break-even point will change as the sales volume for this product and the unit price change.
  • Create a spreadsheet: To do a break-even calculation, you will construct or use a spreadsheet then turn the spreadsheet into a graph. The spreadsheet will plot break-even for each level of sales and product price, and it will create a graph showing you break-even for each of these prices and sales volumes. 

A simple formula for break-even is:

Break-even quantity = Fixed costs/(Sales price per unit –Variable cost per unit).

This formula is best expressed in a spreadsheet because variable cost changes. The spreadsheet shows you break-even for a range of costs and sales prices.  

You can use Excel or another spreadsheet to create a break-even analysis chart. SCORE has an Excel template , or you can use this one form Microsoft . You'll need someone who's familiar with Excel to tweak the spreadsheet to your specific situation.

Now that you have break-even, what do you do with this information? You want to find the highest price you can sell the product at and still make a profit. See what happens when you change either fixed or variable costs to see what happens if you reduce them. Maybe you can increase the volume by finding new markets. What happens when output volume rises or falls. All of these can affect your business profits on this product.  

Of course, a break-even analysis isn't created in a vacuum. If you're creating a new product that no one's ever seen before, you have no idea what the volume would be or how soon competitors might pop up. But at least it gives you a way to begin your search for the "best" price for your product.

SCORE.org. " Break-Even Analysis Template ." Accessed Sept. 10, 2020.

Corporate Finance Institute. " Break Even Analysis ." Accessed Sept. 10, 2020.

Harvard Business Review. " A Quick Guide to Breakeven Analysis ." Accessed Sept. 10, 2020.

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In Pursuit of Profit: Applications and Uses of Break-Even Analysis

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Table of Contents

The break-even analysis is one tool that every entrepreneur should use in their financial planning. It helps you understand your business’s revenue, expenses and cash flow – which is critical to keeping your doors open and your business profitable. Read on to learn more about what a break-even analysis is and how this essential form of financial planning helps business owners make informed decisions.

What is a break-even analysis?

A break-even analysis is a financial tool that helps you determine at which stage your company, service or product will be profitable. It is a financial calculation used to determine the number of products or services a company must sell to cover its expenses, especially the fixed costs.

Here’s an example of the elements that go into a break-even analysis:

  • Fixed costs:  These are the costs that stay the same no matter how much the business sells, also referred to as overhead costs. They include utilities, bills, salaries and wages, rent, and insurance.
  • Variable costs:  Variable costs are based on a business’s sales. They can include additional labor from independent contractors, materials and payment processing fees.
  • Average price:  This is the average amount you will charge for your products and services.

What is the break-even point formula?

Taken together, these elements create a formula known as the break-even point formula. It is a relatively simple calculation, but it is critical in planning for profitability.

Fixed Costs / (Average Price – Variable Cost) = Break-Even Point  

The term “break-even” refers to a situation where you are neither making nor losing money, but all of your costs have been covered. With a break-even analysis, you can determine when your company will generate enough revenue to cover its expenses and earn a profit. The same holds true for a particular product or service. This data is often used for financial projections. 

Examples of break-even analysis

Here are two examples of the break-even point formula.

The price of one of the products you sell is $100. Your total fixed costs are $10,000 per month, and the variable cost is $50 per product. The formula to calculate how many products you must sell to break even would look like this:

$10,000 / ($100 – $50) = 200

Based on the formula, you would need to sell 200 products to cover your costs, effectively breaking even. To be profitable, you would have to sell at least 201 products.

In this example from the Corporate Finance Institute , a water company has total fixed costs of $100,000. The variable costs of making one bottle of water is $2 per unit, and each bottle is sold for $12. Using the break-even analysis formula, you can see that the company must sell 10,000 bottles to recoup its costs and 10,001 bottles to begin earning a profit: 

$100,000 / ($12 – $2) = 10,000  

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Why is a break-even analysis important?

A break-even analysis informs you of the bare minimum performance your business must meet to avoid losing money. It also helps you understand at which point you’ll generate profits so you can set production goals accordingly. 

You can use this information when your business is in the planning stages to determine whether your idea is feasible or not. Then, once your business is established, you can use a break-even analysis to develop direct cost structures and to identify opportunities for promotions and discounts. 

While there is a lot to know about conducting a break-even analysis, let’s focus on the three most common uses.

1. It helps you identify the point of profitability.

A business that doesn’t turn a profit could take a turn for the worse at any time. This is why every company needs to focus on its point of profitability. Ask yourself these questions: 

  • How much revenue do I need to generate to cover all my expenses?
  • Which products or services generate a profit?
  • Which products or services are sold at a loss? 

Point of Profitability

A company’s goal is to become profitable as soon as possible. To ensure that you are on the right track, it is necessary to focus on your numbers upfront. If you don’t calculate the break-even points for your products or services, you risk not generating a profit (or not as much of a profit as you believed you would).

2. It ensures that you properly price a product or service.

When most people think about pricing, they primarily take into account how much their product costs to create and fail to consider overhead costs – underpricing their products as a result. Finding your break-even point will help you price your products correctly. You will know where you need to set your margins to generate the right amount of revenue to break even and begin turning a profit. 

If you offer only a couple of products or services, determining your break-even point is simple. It becomes more challenging as your service offerings and production increase. 

break even point

Image via Business Tool Pro

As you determine your break-even point for a product or service, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What is the total cost?
  • What are the fixed costs?
  • What are the variable costs?
  • What is the total variable cost?
  • What is the cost of any raw materials?
  • What is the cost of labor?

Last but not least, you should ask yourself, “What adjustments can I make to lower the cost of manufacturing or generate the end result I envision?” For instance, you may be able to source some products from a cheaper distributor, or perhaps make some changes to your hiring process to save on labor costs. 

3. It gives you the information you need to implement the best strategy moving forward.

Using your break-even analysis, you can create a strategy for the future. If your business’s profitability is determined by the success of one or more products, the break-even point for each product provides a timeline for the company, which can help you implement a better overall financial strategy that fits the projected costs and profits. 

This analysis can also help you determine ways to speed up your company’s break-even point, such as reducing your overall fixed costs, reducing the variable costs per unit, improving the sales mix by selling more of the products that have larger contribution margins, and increasing the prices (as long as it doesn’t cause the number of units sold to decline significantly). 

When should I use a break-even analysis? 

There are many situations in running a business where a break-even analysis comes in handy. According to Rick Vazza, a CFA and CFP and the president of Driven Wealth Management , you should use a break-even analysis to answer the following questions about your business: 

  • How much of my product or service do I need to sell per month?
  • How much volume do I expect to sell?
  • What price makes those figures match my break-even calculation?
  • What price allows me to generate a reasonable profit? 

Your goal is to get an accurate look at what your profit, net cash flow and finances will be. 

“It’s much easier for people to decide whether they can beat that minimum than guessing how many sales they may make,” said Rob Stephens, founder of CFO Perspective . 

Here are three times when you should consider performing a break-even analysis. 

If you are expanding your business

Stephens suggests using a break-even analysis to get a reality check on how long it will take any planned investments or changes in your business to become profitable. 

“These investments might be a new product or location,” Stephens said. “I’ve done break-even calculations many times for modeling the minimum sales needed to cover the costs of a new location.” 

If you need to lower your pricing

This analysis is also helpful when you need to lower your prices to beat a competitor. “You can also use break-even analysis to determine how many more units you need to sell to offset a price decrease,” Stephens said. “The most common use of break-even analysis in my career has been modeling price changes.” 

If you want to narrow down your options

When making changes to your business, you may be bombarded with various scenarios and possibilities, which can be overwhelming when you’re trying to make a decision. Stephens suggests using a break-even analysis to reduce your decisions to scenarios with straightforward yes-or-no questions like, “Can we do better than the minimum needed for success?”

More financial planning resources

Here are four additional resources to help you better understand how to conduct a break-even analysis and use the data accordingly: 

  • University of Baltimore’s break-even calculators
  • SCORE’s break-even analysis template
  • Colorado State University’s Break-Even Method of Investment Analysis

Julianna Lopez contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.

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A Quick Guide to Breakeven Analysis

It’s a simple calculation, but do you know how to use it?

In a world of Excel spreadsheets and online tools, we take a lot of calculations for granted. Take breakeven analysis. You’ve probably heard of it. Maybe even used the term before, or said: “At what point do we break even?” But because you may not entirely understand the math — and because understanding the formula can only deepen your understanding of the concept — here’s a closer look at how the concept works in reality.

break even in business plan

  • Amy Gallo is a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review, cohost of the Women at Work podcast , and the author of two books: Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People) and the HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict . She writes and speaks about workplace dynamics. Watch her TEDx talk on conflict and follow her on LinkedIn . amyegallo

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How to Calculate Your Break-Even Point

Kylie McQuarrie

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our editorial guidelines and advertising disclosure .

At its simplest, a break-even point (or BEP) is the point at which your business’s expenses equal its revenue. In other words, if you’re breaking even, you aren’t spending more than you’re making—which also means you aren’t making more than you’re spending. At your break-even point, your business isn’t profitable, but it also isn’t losing money: it’s at an exact net neutral.

Like a lot of supposedly simple accounting principles , the break-even point is a little harder to understand than it initially appears. Let’s dive into how to calculate your break-even point and how it can guide your business.

How do you calculate your break-even point?

The basic break-even point calculation is pretty simple (we've got an example that spells it out further down):

Break-even point = Total fixed costs / (price per unit – variable costs per unit)

Of course, before you can calculate your break-even point, you need to figure out your total fixed costs, variable costs per unit, and price per unit:

  • Total fixed costs are expenses that stay the same regardless of how many products you sell. Costs like rent, salaries, and fixed interest rate payments all count as fixed costs.
  • Variable costs per unit are expenses that vary with product creation. For instance, your sales commissions, shipping costs, and costs of raw materials vary month to month depending on how many products you sell.
  • Price per unit means how much you sell each product for. You’re the one who sets this cost, and a break-even point can show if you’re selling your product for too little or too much (more on that below).

The answer to the equation will tell you how many units (meaning individual products) you need to sell to match your expenses.

Note that the total fixed costs aren’t per product but rather the sum total of your business expenses over any given time period, whether that’s a month, quarter, or year (you choose!). In contrast, variable costs are per unit.

While gathering the information you need to calculate your break-even point is tricky and time consuming, you don’t have to crunch the numbers with just a pen and paper. Any number of free online break-even point calculators can help, like this calculator by the National Association for the Self-Employed.

break even in business plan

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What is an example of a break-even point calculation?

Let’s say Maria owns a small business that primarily sells handmade quilts. Between rent, property insurance, and other crucial expenses, Maria’s fixed costs total $2,000 a month. She sells each quilt for $500 each and determines that variable expenses for each product come to about $250. For her, the break-even point formula would look like this:

$2,000 / ($500 – $250) = 8 products/month

So to break even, Maria needs to create and sell eight quilts a month. If she wants to turn a profit, she'll need to sell at least nine quilts a month.

What does your break-even point tell you?

Your break-even point can help you answer the following questions:

  • How many products do you need to produce and sell before you start turning a profit?
  • Are you selling your products at too low a price per unit to make a profit?
  • Do you need to lower any fixed costs (e.g., your own salary, your advertising budget, or your electric bill) to break even?
  • Is your business model sustainable? In other words, is it even possible for you to break even given your anticipated fixed expenses, costs of labor, sales, and costs of production?

In our example above, Maria’s break-even point tells her she needs to create eight quilts a month, right? But what if she knows she can create only six a month given her current time and resources? Well, per the equation, she might need to up her cost per unit to offset the decreased production. Or she could find a way to lower her total fixed costs—say, by scouting around for a better property insurance rate or fabric supplier.

The takeaway

Once you calculate your break-even point, you can determine how many products you need to manufacture and sell to make your business profitable.

Want software that can help you calculate your break-even point? Check out our piece on the best bookkeeping software for small-business owners.

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What is a break-even analysis? The break-even point is the point when your business’s total revenues equal its total expenses.

Your business is “breaking even”—not making a profit but not losing money, either.

After the break-even point, any additional sales will generate profits.

To use this break-even analysis template, gather information about your business’s fixed and variable costs, as well as your 12-month sales forecast .

When should you use a break-even analysis.

A break-even analysis is a critical part of the financial projections in the business plan for a new business. Financing sources will want to see when you expect to break even so they know when your business will become profitable.

But even if you’re not seeking outside financing, you should know when your business is going to break even. This will help you plan the amount of startup capital you’ll need and determine how long that capital will need to last.

In general, you should aim to break even in six to 18 months after launching your business. If your break-even analysis shows that it will take longer, you need to revisit your costs and pricing strategy so you can increase your margins and break even in a reasonable amount of time.

Existing businesses can benefit from a break-even analysis, too.

In this situation, a break-even analysis can help you calculate how different scenarios might play out financially. For instance, if you add another employee to the payroll, how many extra sales dollars will be needed to recoup that additional expense? If you borrow money, how much will be needed to cover the monthly principal and interest payments?

A break-even analysis can also be used as a motivational tool. For instance, you can calculate a monthly, weekly, or even daily break-even analysis to give your sales team a goal to aim for.

Do you need help completing your break-even analysis? Connect with a SCORE mentor  online or in your community today.

Business Planning & Financial Statements Template Gallery Download SCORE’s templates to help you plan for a new business startup or grow your existing business.

Sales Forecast (12 months) The sales forecast is the key to the whole financial plan, so it is important to use realistic estimates. Download SCORE's Sales Forecast template.

Copyright © 2024 SCORE Association, SCORE.org

Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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How to Do a Business Plan Break Even Analysis for Beginners

Are you currently writing a business plan and want to do break even analysis? If YES, here’s a beginner’s guide on how to calculate break even point for a business.

Every business is established with the aim of making profits. No entrepreneur wants to go through the stress of establishing and running a business that would not be able to pay its bills after a particular time frame. This is the major reason why it is very pertinent to run a break even analysis whenever one thinks of starting a business.

What is a Break Even Analysis?

Break even analysis is a calculation that will tell you how many units of products you need to sell or how many people you have to offer services to in order to break even in your business. In essence, your break-even point is the sales level that is required for your business to operate without incurring financial loss. To succeed in any business you are doing, it is pertinent to determine this point as the viability of your business is reliant on staying above this number.

For instance, as an entrepreneur selling umbrellas, you need to know how many umbrellas you need to sell to cover your overhead costs. You need to know that anything you sell above your break-even point will mean profit for your business.

A break-even analysis is a key part of any good business plan as it would help you know if your business idea is worth pursuing, and it can remain helpful in the long run as a way to figure out the best pricing structure for your products.

It is a fact that experienced entrepreneurs would not even think of starting a business until they are sure, from their break-even analysis, that their predicted revenue would be greater than their costs, and that they can break even at a certain point that is predictable. Once this point is established, the entrepreneurs can then continue creating their business plans. A break-even analysis is the best way to determine whether your business idea is a winner or a loser.

A company can be said to have achieved break even when its total sales or revenue equals its total expenses. No profit has been made at the break even point, and no losses have been incurred either. It should be noted that any revenue that is made above the breakeven point is pure profit for the business.

4 Times When It is Important to Carry Out Break Even Analysis

  • When starting a new business

Like we have already established, whenever you want to start a new business, your first thoughts should go to conducting break even analysis. Not only will it help you decide if your business idea is viable, but it will force you to do research and be realistic about costs, as well as think through your .

  • When you want to create or introduce a new product line

If you already have a running business, you are still required do a break-even analysis before adding a new product line, especially if that product is expected to add significant expenses to your business. Even if your fixed costs, like an office lease, stay the same, you will need to work out the variable costs related to your new product and set prices before you start selling.

  • When adding a new sales channel

Any time you add a new sales channel, your costs will change—even if your prices don’t. For example, if you have been selling online and you are now thinking about opening a pop-up shop, you will have to make sure you at least break even so as not to add a strain to your business.

  • When changing your

If you are thinking about changing your business model, for example, switching from a retail store to eCommerce, you are required to do a break-even analysis. Your costs could change significantly and this will help you figure out if your prices need to change too.

When conducting a break-even analysis, you need to take note of certain variables. The first step basically is to list all your costs of doing business. You need to put down everything, from the cost of your product, to rent, to bank fees and others. Think through everything you have to pay for and write it down.

The next step is to divide them into fixed costs and variable costs.

  • Fixed Costs

Fixed costs are any costs that stay the same regardless of how much products you sell. This could include things like rent, software subscriptions, insurance, deposits or contingency funds and labour. You have to make a list of everything you have to pay for no matter what.

In most cases, you can list the expenses as monthly amounts unless you are considering an event with a shorter time frame. If you are starting your business from the scratch, you should never rely on guesswork to estimate your costs. You can check with trade associations for information on average costs in your particular industry.

  • Variable Costs

Variable costs are costs that fluctuate based on the amount of products you sell. This could include things like materials, commissions, payment processing, labour, shipping costs of the product, and inventory etc.

Some costs could go in either category, depending on your business. If you have salaried staff, they will go under fixed costs. But if you pay part-time hourly employees who only work when it’s busy, then they will be considered as variable costs.

  • Average price per unit

Finally, you need to decide on a price for your product. Don’t worry if you are not ready to fix a final price yet, you can change this later. Keep in mind that this is just the average price. If you offer some customers bulk discounts, it will lower the average price. To determine your price, consider these factors:

  • What is your competition selling the same thing for?
  • Do you want to be at the low, middle, or high end of the price range?
  • What is your cost for the unit, and how much profit do you want to make above that?

You can also use informal focus groups to see what people might be willing to pay for your wares or services.

Importance of the Breakeven Point for Businesses

It is very possible for a business to be turning over a lot of money and still be running at a loss. By determine your breakeven point, you will be able to decide the appropriate price, sales budget to have and it also helps in preparing the business plan. The breakeven point analysis is a very useful parameter for determining the critical profit driver for your business including sales volume, average production costs and average sales price.

The other importance of a breakeven point is that it will help you to be able to:

  • Determine the productivity of the current product or service you are into
  • Know how far you can sustain declining sales in your business before you will start incurring loses.
  • Know how many units of your products that you will need to sell before you will be able to make profits
  • Know how reduction of sales volume or price will affect your business
  • Know how much of an increase in price or volume of sales you will need to make up for an increase in fixed costs.

Calculating Your Break-Even Point

In order to determine your break even point, you will have to arrange the above figures into a break-even analysis formula. A breakeven analysis formula looks like this:

  • Break-even point = fixed costs / (average price per unit – variable costs)

Using the formula above, and using the example of an entrepreneur that retails shoes. Let’s just say his fixed costs are $2,000 a month, and his average sales price is $100. It costs him $40 to buy each shoe, which leaves $60. Divide that into $2,000 (monthly fixed costs) and the entrepreneur must sell 33 shoes a month to break even. Any units he sells above that are profit.

Another example, if you have a business that is selling digital information products online at a rate of $100 (that is, the selling price is equal to $100), and the variable cost is $20 and the fixed cost for a particular period in question is $2,000. To get the breakeven point in number of units, you should divide the fixed cost by the contribution.

To get the contribution or gross profit, you will have to subtract the selling price ($100) by the variable cost ($20) which will give you $80. Therefore dividing the fixed cost ($2,000) by the contribution ($80) will give you a breakeven point of 25 units (2,000 ÷ 80 = 25). What this answer means is that 25 units of the information product must be sold in order to cover the costs of running the business.

What Will Happen to the Breakeven Point If Sales Change?

So, what would be the fate of your breakeven point in the event that sales change? Take for instance, if the economy of the country was in recession, the sales that the business has may drop. If this should happen, then you may stand the risk of not selling enough to meet your breakeven point.

Using the business that is selling digital information products above as an example, you might not sell up to the 25 units that are needed in order to breakeven. In this scenario, you will not be able to pay all your expenses, so what can you do to remedy this situation?

There are two possible solutions to this problem. You can either decide to raise the price of your product or you can find ways to cut your costs, both fixed and variable.

  • Analyzing your Outcomes

A break even analysis is not just conducted for fun, the analysis if done well is meant to speak volumes about your intended business. In this wise, it’s important to understand what the result of your break even analysis is telling you. The above analysis has told us that the entrepreneur will break even in business when he sells 33 pairs of shoes in a month. This is great, but the next step is to decide whether this can be done at a particular point in time.

If you don’t think that you can sell 33 pairs of shoes within one month as dictated by your financial situation, patience, personal expectations, location and other variables, then this may not be the right business for you. This is because the business would not be able to produce the cash that would sustain it.

If your break-even point is higher than you expected but you still have hopes for the business, you may consider manipulating certain factors to yield a desirable break-even point. You can consider shopping around for less expensive shoes, reducing the number of, or eliminating employees altogether, working from home and raising your sales price.

If after changing some of these factors your break-even point is still too high, then your business idea may not be attainable. This realization is what makes break-even analyses so important. If you end up scratching your supposed business plan, then know that you have saved yourself a lot of time, effort and money.

Furthermore, you need to understand that a break even analysis cannot accurately predict demand. If you go to the market with the wrong product or the wrong price, it may be tough to ever hit your break-even point.

Drawbacks of Break-Even Analysis

Though conducting breakeven analysis for your business is quite necessary before even writing business plan , it is a fact that this analysis also has its drawbacks or limitations. Some of these drawbacks include;

  • It doesn’t take note of future changes

One typically ignores the future when calculating breakeven analysis. Although your analysis would show you how many units of products you need to sell over the course of the month, but you won’t see how things would change if your sales fluctuate week to week.

And it won’t tell you how the fluctuation would affect your break-even point. It also doesn’t take the future into account. Break-even analysis only looks at here and now. If your raw materials cost doubles next year, your break-even point will be a lot of higher unless you raise your prices. If you raise your prices, you could lose customers.

  • It cannot predict demand

It’s important to note that a break-even analysis cannot predict market demand. It won’t tell you how much you are going to sell at a particular point in time, or how many people will even want what you are selling. It will only tell you how many units you need to sell in order to break even. Since demand is generally not stable, the number of people willing to buy your product will change if you change your price.

  • Too simple for complex businesses

The break-even point formula is quite simplistic. Many businesses have multiple products with multiple prices. It won’t be able to pick up all the variables. You’ll likely need to work with one product at a time or estimate an average price based on all the products you might sell. If this is the case, then it is best to run a few different scenarios to be better prepared.

  • It doesn’t give account of competitors

As a new entrant to the market, you are going to have competitors on ground, and they of course would be wary of you. They could lower their prices, which can in turn affect demand for your product, causing you to change your prices too. This can equally affect your break even point.

The most common mistake entrepreneurs make when conducting break-even analysis is forgetting things, especially fixed and variable costs. Forgetting things would make your break-even calculation not to be accurate, and to correctly predict the viability of your business, your break even analysis should be as accurate as possible.

To make sure you don’t miss any costs, think through your entire operation from start to finish. If you think through packing a fragile product to ship it, you might remember that you need to add some protection to the box. If you are thinking through your festival setup, you might remember that you’ll need to provide drinking straws along with the drinks you will be servicing.

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What is a break even analysis?

A break even analysis tells you how much you need to sell in order to cover your costs of doing business. A break even analysis is particularly useful if the products or services that you sell have costs associated with them, such as the costs of buying materials for your products. This is because every product you sell generates an additional cost - the cost of buying the materials for your product. So, the more you sell, the higher your expenses will be.

What do you need to know to calculate your break even point?

In order to calculate your break even point (the point where your sales cover all of your expenses), you will need to know three key numbers.

This is how much money you receive, on average, for every product or service that you sell. Be sure to count any discounts or special offers that you may give to your customers.

If you are building a break even analysis for your entire company and you sell multiple products or services, you will need to figure out the average selling price for all of your products or services, combined. Don’t worry, this is a pretty common scenario since most companies sell multiple products.

This is how much it costs you to deliver your product or service. If you are buying products and reselling them, this number is what you paid to purchase those products. If you are making your own products, your per-unit cost should include the costs of the materials it takes make your product. Typically, salaries are excluded from this number.

If you are selling services, this number is what it costs you to deliver your services. This might include the costs of paper or other materials you use when you are presenting to a client, or the cost of gas that it takes you to drive to a typical client.

In a text-book break even analysis, fixed costs would be defined as the expenses you have even if you don’t sell a single product. Those expenses might include things like rent and insurance. Instead of this text-book definition, we recommend using your regular running costs such as payroll and other normal expenses - what would normally be your “Operating Expenses” on a profit and loss statement.

Don’t worry about getting this exactly right. A good estimate is usually good enough.

Once you know these three numbers, you are ready to perform your break even calculation. Using the calculator above, plug in your numbers and see how many units (ie. products) you have to sell in a typical month to cover your costs. The calculator will also tell you the total revenue you will need to bring in to cover your fixed costs PLUS the costs of delivering your product or service.

Your break even point is where the line on the chart crosses the zero line.

If you have questions about calculating your break even point, please don’t hesitate to contact us on Facebook .

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Break-Even Analysis for Small Business: What It Is and How to Do It

April 06, 2023

17 min read

Being aware of your finances is important, especially in business. Whether you’re a business owner or thinking about becoming one, you must complete a break-even analysis. This analysis will tell you the exact path you should follow to break even and make back the money you invested.

If you’ve never conducted a break-even analysis or need assistance with the process, our financial advisers are here to help!

What Is the Break-Even Point?

The break-even point, also called the BEP, refers to the revenue necessary to cover all fixed and variable expenses a business incurs. It is the point where financial losses end and profit begins. As 30% of operating small businesses are losing money, you must be planning so you can at least break even or, better yet, become profitable in the long run.

“Break-even” is a widely used term across industries, including stock and options trading to corporate budgeting. Conducting a break-even analysis allows you to outline the steps you should follow to reach profitability. Keep in mind that the profit at the break-even point is zero, and it’s only possible for small businesses to overcome this point when the sales dollar value is greater than the fixed and variable cost per unit. Nevertheless, determining your break-even point can give you insight into the metrics you must hit to profit on your fixed and variable costs.

Why Is a Break-Even Analysis Important for Your Small Business?

break even analysis steps

Even if your small business is bringing in a lot of money, you might not be making a profit. Having a sound grasp on the break-even point is important for many reasons, some of which we have outlined below.

Make Smarter Decisions

It’s easy for businesses to make decisions based on emotions. Even though it’s important to factor in how you feel, at the end of the day, remember that you’re running a business. Don’t let emotions creep into your business decisions. A break-even analysis helps you look at the bigger business picture using facts, not emotions.

Make Your Pricing Smarter

By understanding your break-even calculation, you will get clear direction on how to price your products for the fastest return on investment. Even though a significant amount of psychology goes into pricing, you must understand how the pricing will impact your profitability. This is especially true when ensuring you can cover your bills.

Determine Missing Expenses

If a new business idea comes down the pipeline, you might not consider how it will impact your expenses. Simply referring back to your break-even analysis gives you a better understanding of your various financial commitments and reduces any future surprises.

Set Revenue Targets More Precisely

Sales revenue targets act as your guiding light as a business owner. Once you’ve completed the analysis, you’ll understand exactly how much your sales team needs to sell for your company to be profitable. Then, with a precise number in mind, you can help motivate your sales team and give them additional purpose in their roles.

Reduce Financial Strain

the break-even point for a business is

Even if you want to jump at every new business idea, it might not be in your best financial interest. Running a break-even analysis helps your company avoid pitfalls while minimizing the financial toll of a bad idea as it realistically analyzes the different outcomes.

Fund Your Business

In many cases, the break-even analysis is necessary for investors to fund your business. It helps to prove that your plan is viable and can help you gain financing that isn’t otherwise available.

How to Calculate the Break-Even Point

First, understand your data.

The first step in determining your break-even point is to compile all of your company’s data. This includes how much your product costs, rent, bank fees, etc. Next, consider everything you need to pay for and write it down. The next step is to divide these costs into fixed and variable costs.

1. Fixed Costs

Any costs that remain the same regardless of how much product you sell are referred to as fixed costs. Fixed costs include insurance, rent, labor, software subscriptions, etc. List out what you pay for on a monthly basis, no matter what. In most situations, you can list total expenses in a monthly amount and add the numbers.

2. Variable Costs

Variable costs change based on how much product you sell. Examples of variable costs include payment processing, commissions, and materials. Some costs can either be viewed as fixed costs or variable costs, depending on the type of business that you run. For example, if you have salaried staff, this would be a fixed cost. Hourly employees, on the other hand, are considered variable costs. Put together a list of the costs that change based on how much you sell. Write the price per unit sold and add the costs.

3. Average Price

Last but not least, you’ll want to decide on a price. Even if you aren’t ready to commit to a final price, it’s important to establish one now. You can change it later on. Remember that this is an average price; if you offer bulk discounts for customers, it will reduce the average price.

Calculate the Break-Even Point by Units

what does break even point mean in business

Another way to determine the break-even point is by the number of units that must be produced to transition sales from a loss to a profit. To determine this, follow the below formula:

Break-even point (units) = fixed cost / (revenue per unit – variable cost per unit)

This formula will show how many units you must sell to cover your monthly costs. If the above formula tells you that you need to sell 50 units, for example, any units after 50 would result in a profit. On the other hand, if you don’t sell 50 units, your business will lose money.

Calculate the Break-Even Point by Dollars

You’ll want to determine your break-even point in a dollar amount at a certain point. This means you’ll have to achieve a dollar amount in terms of revenue to break even. If you make additional revenue, it is profit, but if you don’t hit that target, you’ll lose money.

To determine your break-even point by dollars, follow the below formula:

Break-even point in dollars = sales price per unit x break-even point in units

Use these formulas to compare varying strategies when pricing a product. For example, in the case that you raise the price, you’ll need to sell fewer items, but it could be more difficult to attract buyers. On the other hand, if you lower the unit price, you’ll need to sell more volume to break even.

Break-Even Point Analysis Example for Small Businesses

One of the easiest ways to understand the importance of break-even analysis is by seeing an example. Let’s say that you’re considering starting a shoe manufacturing company, and the first unit you will sell is a pair of running sneakers. Let’s determine how many shoes you need to sell to break even.

If it costs $50 to make a pair of shoes and your fixed costs are $1,000, how many pairs of shoes you need to sell depends on the price. If you sell a pair of shoes for $100, you’ll take $1,000/($100-$50) = 20 pairs of shoes. This means you’ll need to sell 20 pairs of shoes to break even; any additional pairs will profit, while fewer pairs will result in a financial loss.

If you sell a pair of shoes for $200, you’ll take $1,000/($200-$50) = 6.7 pairs of shoes. This example demonstrates that selling a product for a higher price allows you to reach your break-even point significantly faster. Before you price your shoes for $200 per pair, however, consider what your competitors are charging and whether or not you are within the same ballpark.

When to Use a Break-Even Analysis for Your Small Business?

break even analysis for small business

Generally speaking, there are four business scenarios that are best served with a break-even analysis. We’ve outlined additional details below.

1. Launching a New Business

New business owners should embrace break-even analysis with open arms. Not only will this help new business owners decide if they have a viable idea, but it also forces them to do the required research and be realistic about cost pricing. Thinking through the pricing strategy is integral to long-term business success .

2. Creating a New Product or Providing a New Service

Always conduct a break-even analysis before you commit to producing a new product, especially if that product will require significant expenses. Despite your fixed costs, such as office leases remaining the same, it’s important to determine the variable costs related to your new product and determine them before the new product goes live.

3. Adding a New Sales Channel

If you’re adding a new sales channel, your costs will undoubtedly change even if your prices remain the same. Let’s say you’ve been only selling online but are thinking about opening a brick-and-mortar shop and want to ensure that you break even. If not, the new shop’s financial strain could threaten your company’s financial state.

This also applies to adding online sales channels, such as creating shoppable posts on Instagram. If you spend more money promoting the channel, such as on Instagram ads, you’ll want to include these costs in your analysis.

4. Changing Your Business Model

You might not stick with the same business model. You might not stick with the same business model forever. You might not stick with the same business model. Always conduct a break-even analysis to determine if you need to change your prices.

Tips to Lower Your Break-Even Point

why break even analysis is important

After conducting this analysis, you might determine that the number of units you must sell is too high. Don’t panic! It is still possible to make adjustments to reduce this break-even point.

1. Reduce Fixed Costs

There may be an opportunity to reduce your fixed costs. If you can do so, you’ll need to sell fewer units before you break even. For example, if the retail store you’re planning to open isn’t working out in numbers, you can transition to online sales instead. This will impact your fixed costs.

2. Reduce Variable Costs

This is the most difficult option, especially for new business owners. However, if you are already on track to scale, it could be easier to reduce your variable costs. Try negotiating with your suppliers, changing suppliers altogether, or changing your process. For example, you could determine that packing peanuts is cheaper than bubble wrap.

3. Increase Your Prices

As we determined, raising your prices means that you won’t need to sell as many units to break even because the marginal contribution per unit sold is higher. If you are considering this approach, always do your research to see what the market reflects. Even though you won’t need to sell as many units, you need to be mindful of what buyers are willing to spend.

Is Conducting a Break-Even Analysis Always a Good Idea?

While there are plenty of benefits to this analysis, there are some limitations:

  • This analysis focuses on the supply side of your business; it doesn’t reflect what your sales are likely to be for the product at different price points.
  • If you increase the production scale, it could result in higher fixed costs.
  • It assumes that the average variable costs are steady per unit of output as well as per the range of the sales numbers.
  • If you offer multiple products, the relative proportions of each sold product are either fixed or constant.
  • It assumes that how many goods you produce equals how many goods you sell. This means there is no change in how many goods are held in inventory at the beginning and end periods.

As a key takeaway, remember that a break-even analysis is only as reliable as the underlying assumptions. Conducting this analysis has benefits as it outlines the framework you’ll need for pricing, employees, operations, and future support. If you need additional support in this process, our team at Cultivate Advisors is happy to assist you! Schedule an initial phone call with our team today.

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Complete Guide on Auto Repair Shop Business Plan (2023)

auto repair shop business plan

Success in the auto repair business starts with a good plan. Your shop’s future depends on it. One mistake can be a big problem. That’s why you need to make sure you have everything in place for a successful auto repair business.

In this blog, we’ll help you create a strong business plan for an auto repair shop, whether you’re starting out or already have a shop. We’ll also give you a business plan sample for an auto repair shop that you can use. 

Let’s get started!”

Looking to expand your auto repair shop? Schedule a demo now.

What is an auto repair shop business plan? 

An auto repair shop business plan is like a roadmap for your car repair business. It’s a document that explains your business idea to potential investors or partners.

Imagine you’re planning a long road trip. 

Before you start, you make a detailed plan with the places you want to visit, the things you want to do, and the route you’ll take. 

Similarly, an auto repair shop business plan is like that plan for your car repair business. It’s a written guide that outlines what your business wants to achieve, how it will do it, and why it’s a good idea. 

You use this plan to show to others, like investors, so they understand your business and may want to be part of it. It’s like the master plan for your car repair adventure!

Why you need a business plan for auto repair shop: 

You will understand your business better:.

  • Your business plan is your GPS. It gives you a clear route to your goals.
  • Identify and tackle obstacles with confidence by sticking to your plan.
  • It’s your guide for financing, hiring, operations, and branding.

It will give you a Smooth Driving:

  • Prevent hiccups by investing wisely.
  • Your business plan helps you choose the right people, processes, technology, and marketing.
  • Ensure your investments align with your long-term goals.

Make your business sustainable: 

  • Map out a sustainable and viable business model.
  • Secure funding, plan expansion, and achieve growth milestones.

It will give you Clear Path:

  • Engage in a regular enjoyable activity.
  • Form habits that help you focus and organize thoughts.
  • Find solitude to regain focus on business goals.
  • Personalize your approach for clarity and success.

Creating an auto repair shop business plan: 

Understanding the basics.

It is important that you first clever the basics before you create a business plan. 

For that, you need to understand the type of your business. There are many types of business such as startup business plan, internal business plan, and strategies plan.

For an auto body repair shop business plan, you need to form some key elements in your company such as market, company description, sales strategies, management, product/service, fundings, financial projections. Etc. 

Company Description: 

This chapter is the heart of your business plan. Here you will tell your story. Why do you want to start an auto repair business? What is the mission behind it? You will explain your services. 

This is your chance to give a unique identity to your repair shop. This can help you gain competitive advantage. Let’s discuss these things one by one: 

Overview: 

Give your readers a sense of what your auto repair shop is all about. You can tell the essence of your shop here. You need to discuss the history of your business, founders; story, and company culture, 

Mission Statement: 

Articulate the core purpose of your business – what it aims to achieve and how it serves its customers or clients.

Vision Statement: 

Describe the future you envision for your company. What impact do you want to have on your industry, community, or the world?

Products or Services

Now discuss what you are offering. Describe your services that show a unique value proposition. It is important that it is relevant to your auto repair customers. 

Market Positioning

Marketing and branding is very important to have a successful auto repair business. Focusing on market positioning is crucial. You need to touch on points like target audience, competitive advantage and market niche. 

Short-Term Goals: 

These could include milestones like launching a new product, reaching a specific revenue target, or expanding your customer base.

Long-Term Goals: 

Detail your overarching aspirations, such as becoming an industry leader, expanding globally, or achieving a certain level of market share.

Market Analysis

You need to know what you are dealing with on a daily basis. 

What do your ideal customers want? What is trending in the market? How can you attract more and more customers? 

For this, you need to have a comprehensive knowledge of the auto repair market. There are three things you need to cover: 

Target Market: 

Understand your audience. Check out the following things in your customers: 

  • Income level 
  • Values 
  • Lifestyles 
  • Purchasing behaviors

Address the market needs: 

You need to find out the needs of your market. Identify the pain points of your customers.

Pro tip: you can conduct surveys or focus groups to find out the pain points of your target audience. 

After finding out the paint points, come up with unique selling point that covers the needs of your market. Clearly articulate how your products or services stand out and provide distinct advantages over competitors.

Analyzing the Competitive Landscape: 

In every market, competition is a reality. By analyzing your competitors, you gain insights into their strengths, weaknesses, and strategies. Find out direct competitors that offer similar services. 

After finding your competitors, you can set your business apart by offering better services from them. 

Market Size and Growth Potential

Assessing the overall market size and growth potential provides a snapshot of the opportunity at hand. It helps you understand the scope of your market and whether it’s expanding or contracting.

Industry Trends: 

Now you need to collect data related to auto repair shops. This can help you in finding industry trends. Find out the merging technologies that you can use in your shop. 

Marketing and Sales Strategies

Now we know our services and market for the auto repair shop. But how are we gonna sell our service to the market

That’s here, you need marketing strategies for your auto repair shops. Follow the following steps to define your strategies: 

  • Identify the platforms you’ll use to reach your audience. 
  • Craft a consistent and compelling message that resonates with your target audience.
  • Plan the creation and distribution of valuable content that educates, entertains, or solves problems for your audience. 
  • Detail how you’ll guide potential customers through the sales journey, from initial contact to making a purchase.
  • Explain how you’ll attract potential customers.
  • Describe how you’ll build relationships with leads over time. 
  • Outline the steps you’ll take to convert leads into paying customers. 
  • Allocate funds to different marketing strategies
  • Explain how you’ll measure the effectiveness of your marketing and sales efforts.
  • Identify the KPIs you’ll monitor, such as website traffic, conversion rates, click-through rates, and customer acquisition cost.

Organization and Management

Now, you need to discuss the management of your auto repair shop. Highlighting key team members and explaining their roles adds depth and credibility to your business plan.you can discuss the following things: 

  • Organizational Structure
  • Hierarchical Chart.
  • Functional Divisions
  • Key Management Team
  • Founder(s) and CEO
  • Executive Team Members
  • Responsibilities and Roles
  • Founder’s Role
  • Key Executives’ Roles
  • Team Strengths and Expertise
  • Relevant Experience
  • Growth Plans
  • Recruitment Strategy

Product or Service Line

In this chapter, you’ll provide a thorough exploration of your products or services. You can discuss the following things: 

  • Introduction to Your Offerings
  • Detailed Description
  • Development and Design
  • Intellectual Property
  • Product Life Cycle
  • Future Development
  • Visuals and Media
  • Customer Testimonials and Case Studies
  • Pricing Strategy
  • Regulatory and Compliance
  • Sustainability and Ethics

Financial Projections

In this chapter, you will do a proper financial analysis. You will discuss the financial dynamics of your business. 

1. Profit and Loss: 

In this, you will show projected profit and loss for the forecast period. Below is an example from the business plan for an existing auto repair shop. you can use it to make your own a profit and loss sheet. 

profit and loss sheet - auto repair shop business plan

2.Cash flow projection: The next thing is the cash flow projection. Cash flow is critical for business sustainability. Illustrate how cash moves in and out of your business, highlighting periods of potential cash shortages and surpluses. This helps in planning for working capital needs and managing liquidity. Below is an example that you can use:

Cash notes projection - auto repair shop business plan

3. Balance Sheet Projection

Provide a snapshot of your business’s financial position, including assets, liabilities, and equity. This showcases the overall health and stability of your business.

4. Break Even Analysis

Determine the point at which your business becomes profitable. A breakeven analysis helps you understand how much revenue you need to cover all costs. Below is an example of a business plan for an existing auto repair shop. You can see to understand better.

Break even analysis - auto repair shop business plan

Risk Assessment and Contingency Planning

No business journey is without its obstacles. Recognizing potential risks and challenges upfront and having a plan to address them is crucial. 

This chapter focuses on identifying risks, evaluating their potential impact, and outlining strategies to mitigate their effects.

First thing is to identify the risk. You can see the picture below to identify risks. 

After identifying risks, you need to come with risk mitigation strategies such as: 

Preventive Measures: Outline steps you’ll take to prevent risks from occurring. 

Mitigation Plans: Describe your plans to minimize the impact if a risk does materialize. 

Crafting a business plan is a labor of love. It’s more than a document; it’s your business’s roadmap to success. Each chapter contributes to the bigger picture, forming a comprehensive strategy that aligns your ambitions with actionable steps. Now that you have this guide, take the first step towards creating a winning business plan that paves the way for your entrepreneurial journey.

You can also take your auto repair business to the next level with a good auto repair management software. Moreover , torque 360 offers all-round automotive management software as well. It includes many features such as scheduling, invoicing , estimating , digital vehicle inspection , repair order management , technician portal , POS integration , and marketing solutions. 

About the Author: Torque360

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break even in business plan

  • How to Write a Coffee Shop Business Plan
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break even in business plan

Opening a coffee shop can be both exhilarating and daunting at the same time. Crafting a comprehensive coffee shop business plan is your first step toward owning a thriving business. This document is not just a formal requirement; it’s a roadmap that guides your business strategy and helps you navigate the complexities of the coffee industry. Learn what elements your business plan should include.

Elements of Your Business Plan

Below are the various pieces your business plan will need:

  • Executive summary: This section provides a snapshot of your business, including the concept of your coffee shop, your unique selling proposition, and your objectives. Your executive summary should clearly and engagingly capture what your business is all about.
  • Company description: Detail your coffee shop’s identity in the company description section. Describe the ambiance, theme, and customer experience you envision. This section should reflect your passion and show the reader – a potential investor – why your coffee shop will stand out in a globally growing industry .
  • Market analysis: This section is crucial. Research your target market, including demographic and psychographic profiles of your potential customers. Understand the local coffee market, identify your competitors, and analyze their strengths and weaknesses. This will help you position your coffee shop to fill any gaps in the local market.
  • Business structure: Be clear about how your business is defined. Is it a sole proprietorship? An LLC? Determine your business structure You’ll also want to introduce your management team. Give details about their experience and industry knowledge.
  • Products and services: Your menu is at the heart of your coffee shop business plan. Describe the types of coffee, beverages, and food you plan to offer. Highlight any specialty items that will differentiate your coffee shop from competitors.
  • Marketing and sales strategy: Develop a marketing plan to attract and retain customers. Include strategies for social media, local advertising, and community engagement. Detail your sales strategy and set realistic sales targets.
  • Financial projections: If you’re seeking funding, clearly outline your requirements in this section. Provide detailed financial projections, including startup costs, projected breakeven point, and expenses. This part should reassure investors of your coffee shop’s financial viability.

Consider a Coffee Shop Franchise

The idea of starting a business completely from scratch can seem overwhelming. Franchising offers a path toward entrepreneurship without the added stress and guesswork that comes with starting a new venture. If you’re considering different coffee franchise brands, your business plan should reflect that. Discuss the franchisor’s support and resources and how they’ll contribute to your coffee shop’s growth.

Another added benefit of partnering with a franchise is they’ve gone through the opening process many times. They’ll be able to guide you through any pitfalls and help you anticipate challenges. This is especially helpful when trying to maintain an investment budget. Franchisors are able to provide franchise candidates an estimated range of startup costs – meaning the risk of pop-up expenses is considerably lower. And any potential investors will appreciate that.

Get Started with Scooter’s Coffee

Founded by Don and Linda Eckles in 1998, Scooter’s Coffee has grown to almost 750 locations nationwide. We’re known as a purveyor of specialty coffee, but our brand offers many other drink options, like hot or iced teas, blenders, smoothies, and lemonade. We also have a great selection of food to pair with our delicious drinks.

All of our franchisees get direct access to comprehensive support and training throughout the life of their franchise agreement, not just at the start. Plus, our brand has multiple coffee franchise models , including drive-thru kiosk and endcap options – giving franchisees more choice in where to open their coffee shop.

To qualify for a Scooter’s Coffee location, franchise candidates must have a net worth of $500,000 and at least $250,000 in liquid assets.

If you’re interested in learning more about our franchise opportunity, request information today, and someone from our development team will be in touch with you soon.

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Transnet aims to break even by 2025

Board chair andile sangqu says its 18-month recovery plan is on track.

Transnet’s board chair, Andile Sangqu, says the state-owned logistics company, which is battling debt of R130bn, aims to break even by 2025 as it continues to implement its recovery plan. 

The new executive has implemented its 18-month recovery plan, Sangqu said at a conference organised by financial services company PSG on Thursday...

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May 9, 2024

Postmaster General and CEO Louis DeJoy’s Remarks During May 9, 2024, Postal Service Board of Governors Meeting

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WASHINGTON, DC — The below remarks are as prepared for delivery by Postmaster General and CEO Louis DeJoy during the open session meeting of the Postal Service Board of Governors on May 9, 2024.

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The second quarter has been an engaging one as we have started to intensify the transformation efforts of our facilities and operations to reduce our costs, grow our revenue, engage our employees, improve our infrastructure, and serve our customers in a modern, efficient, and more logistically sophisticated manner.

During this third quarter, we had three Regional Processing and Distribution Centers significantly activated, four partially activated, and another four under design or construction. We have begun to make improvements to more than 20 Local Processing Centers and have launched 25 new Sorting and Delivery Centers.

These initiatives have required the investment of billions of dollars to renovate old or add new facilities; the repositioning or hiring of tens of thousands of people; the installation or relocation of hundreds of complex mail and package processing systems; and the scheduling and rescheduling of thousands of daily air and ground transportation routes.

This effort has been engaged with historic intensity by the postal leadership and its employees across the country to carry out a long overdue transformational change.  

We are also in the process of redefining our Priority network, so that it leverages our ground assets as we strive to produce a totally integrated mail and package network that will reduce cost and improve and grow revenue so that we can be financially self-sufficient as we are required to be by law.

In addition, we have rolled out our new Environmental Sustainability Plan targeting impressive reductions in carbon emissions through 2030. This year, we are accepting over 27,000 new vehicles – the most in a quarter century. Ten thousand of these vehicles that we will accept this year will be electric, and we are well on our way to having the required 10,000 live charging ports across 75 sites by the end of this calendar year.

Recently, we have reorganized over 3,000 sales personnel and supporting organizations to create new focus and inspire winning attitudes to compete for increased revenue for the United States Postal Service. And we are achieving that growth.

In terms of costs, year to date we reduced transportation costs by $700 million compared to the same six-month period last year. We have worked hard to align schedules, implement new processes, and improve productivity to reduce workhours by nearly 9 million hours over the same six-month period last year and over 11 million hours year to date. In fact, over the last two and a half years, we have reduced 47 million work hours for an estimated $2.4 billion in cost savings and nearly $1.3 billion in transportation cost savings while increasing our career workforce.

To address postal crime, we have completed a seven-city law enforcement surge as part of our Project Safe Delivery program. Overall, there have been more than 1,300 arrests for mail theft and robberies since May 2023. In fact, when compared to the same period last year, robbery-related arrests are up 72%, reported letter carrier robberies are down 21%, and mail theft complaints are down 32%.

Across the organization, there are many initiatives within every function, in every plant and every delivery unit that are producing results. In fact, since the release of the Delivering for America (DFA) plan we have accomplished many of the specified initiatives, but most importantly, we are the changing our mindset and culture, creating an organization that has passion for pursuing its initiatives to drive efficiency and reliability while competing for our financial survival as required by law.

Since the release of the DFA, we have reduced our projected operating losses by $15 billion, and if not for the excessive $9 billion of inflation incurred beyond our pricing power, we would be very close to breakeven. We have reduced our projected 10-year losses from nearly $160 billion to $65 billion and have strategies to reduce this further.

The DFA plan has changed this organization in so many positive ways, it represents the Postal Service’s commitment as an independent agency to evolve our services to enable us to cover our costs by selling our products and services. This is what we must continue to do to survive – we must evolve – and that means change!

Unfortunately, to do that we cannot just focus on delivering mail tomorrow but must be focused on the long-term viability of the Postal Service. Well, the fact is the long-term viability of the Postal Service had been in doubt for over 14 years, prior to the issuance of the Delivering for America plan, and it still would be today without the changes we are pursuing.

During that 14-year period the Postal Service incurred losses of over $87 billion because of onerous legislation by Congress and a disregard for the economic reality of the Postal Service by the Postal Regulatory Commission. These actions, combined with ineffective management strategies, put the organization on a path to lose well over $160 billion over the next ten years, which the DFA plan seeks to correct for.

Think about this: That means the plan for the United States Postal Service, prior to the issuance of the DFA, was for the organization to lose over $250 billion over the course of 24 years. That was it, that was the plan – the Do-Nothing Plan or perhaps the Make-Believe It Wasn’t Happening Plan.

There were no comprehensive initiatives from Congress, the Postal Regulatory Commission, the mailing industry, or Postal management for that matter, as to how to stem these losses. No strategies or guidance on how to reinvigorate this organization, so it could serve the public and survive far into the future. No willingness to relinquish the grip – or understand the impact of long failing institutional practices that were manifesting in front of them each day. Very little energy to be transparent to the public about the cumulative destruction inflicted on their constitutionally provided Postal Service as they screamed about the transferring of an operation, the failure of an operating practice or the steady decline in reliability.

Has anyone in Congress or the PRC ever worked to stem $160 billion in projected organizational losses, while overcoming the devastating impact to an organization that nearly $100 billion in previous losses inflicts? The answer is no. How do I know? Because other than at the Postal Service, this situation has never existed.

I know what it’s like. Our leadership team knows what it’s like. Our carriers that drive 30-year-old vehicles know what is like. Our employees that work in dark dilapidated facilities know what it is like.

Prior to the Delivering for America plan, there was no path to financial self-sustainability or no growth strategy – no plan to repair the damage. Today, there is, and we are working hard to reduce our go-forward costs by approximately $5 billion, while growing our revenue by close to the same. We are working hard to build an operating and revenue model that delivers for the American people far into the future, and we are having success.

But along this hard journey, we are also experiencing failures. Why wouldn’t we be given the magnitude of the transformation we are undertaking and the devastating trajectory we are trying to change?

However proud I am of the DFA plan, our leadership team and our employees that are working hard to implement our initiatives, I must remind our stakeholders that the DFA plan is not a magic wand. And that change, particularly on the scale that is needed, is hard, uncomfortable for everyone and encounters errors of varying magnitude. 

We cannot snap our fingers and instantly implement our strategies that correct for years of failed practices while continuing to perform the substantial delivery operations we need to do each day without impacts. Similarly, the DFA plan is not a time machine. We cannot go back in time and undue the devastating conditions across the enterprise that exist because of years of Postal Service and stakeholder inaction.

The Delivering for America strategic plan embodies our ambition to modernize and transform the Postal Service. This massive and complex evolution includes correcting decades of haphazard decision making and neglect to our physical infrastructure and overall network.

Throughout this journey, we recognize that there have been impacts to our customers, especially in regions like Atlanta, Houston, and Richmond, where transformation activities have been elevated. We apologize for these conditions and are working hard and know that we will soon be delivering the service the American people deserve.

Those impacts are inherent to the massive change processes that we are undertaking. Those impacts are also the result of errors in execution that we aim to correct quickly. With that said, we have and will continue to work tirelessly to improve our service for our constituents and ask for your patience and understanding as we work to bring the Postal Service up to the standard we know it can reach within the time limits we have for survival.

Later, we will hear from Dr. Colin regarding the intensified efforts we are deploying in those areas of the country where we are failing to meet service expectations. Again, I apologize for the deteriorated performance and assure you that you will soon see improvement.

I would like to thank my leadership team for their persistent efforts to resolve executional missteps and for their quick response to adverse events we encounter along our journey. I am proud of their dedication and overall conduct.

I also would like to thank our Board of Governors for their continued support of the Delivering for America plan as well as their eagerness to comprehend the massive improvements we are endeavoring to achieve.

Finally, and most importantly, I thank the women and men of the United States Postal Service for their unwavering commitment to the nation.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”

The United States Postal Service is an independent federal establishment, mandated to be self-financing and to serve every American community through the affordable, reliable and secure delivery of mail and packages to 167 million addresses six and often seven days a week. Overseen by a bipartisan Board of Governors, the Postal Service is implementing a 10-year transformation plan, Delivering for America , to modernize the postal network, restore long-term financial sustainability, dramatically improve service across all mail and shipping categories, and maintain the organization as one of America’s most valued and trusted brands.

The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

For USPS media resources, including broadcast-quality video and audio and photo stills, visit the USPS Newsroom . Follow us on X , formerly known as Twitter; Instagram ; Pinterest ; Threads and LinkedIn . Subscribe to the USPS YouTube Channel and like us on Facebook . For more information about the Postal Service, visit usps.com and facts.usps.com .

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IMAGES

  1. Predicting Profitability: How to Do Break-Even Analysis [+Free Template

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  2. Break-Even Analysis Explained

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  3. Break-Even Point (BEP)

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  4. 41 Free Break Even Analysis Templates & Excel Spreadsheets ᐅ TemplateLab

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  5. Mastering Break Even Analysis for Business Success in 2023

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  6. Break Even Analysis: Definition and Importance

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VIDEO

  1. ABM Business Math Lesson 6 : Profit, Loss and Break even || Lainne's Lesson

  2. 2.2.3: Break-Even (Business A Level Revision)

  3. BE1.2

  4. Practice Answering Break Even Calculations

  5. Applications of Functions in Business and Economics

  6. What is Break Even Pricing ?

COMMENTS

  1. Break-Even Analysis: Formula and Calculation

    Break-even analysis entails the calculation and examination of the margin of safety for an entity based on the revenues collected and associated costs. Analyzing different price levels relating to ...

  2. Break-Even Analysis Explained

    Knowing the break-even point helps decide prices, set sales targets, and prepare a business plan. The break-even point calculation is an essential tool to analyze critical profit drivers of your business, including sales volume, average production costs, and, as mentioned earlier, the average sales price.

  3. Break-Even Analysis: How to Calculate the Break-Even Point

    The break-even analysis is important to business owners and managers in determining how many units (or revenues) are needed to cover fixed and variable expenses of the business. Therefore, the concept of break-even point is as follows: Profit when Revenue > Total Variable Cost + Total Fixed Cost. Break-even point when Revenue = Total Variable ...

  4. What Is Break-Even Analysis and How to Calculate It for Your Business

    A break-even analysis reveals when your investment is returned dollar for dollar, no more and no less, so that you have neither gained nor lost money on the venture. A break-even analysis is a financial calculation used to determine a company's break-even point (BEP). In general, lower fixed costs lead to a lower break-even point. A business ...

  5. What is a Break-Even Analysis?

    The break-even analysis lets you determine what you need to sell, monthly or annually, to cover your costs of doing business—your break-even point. Understanding break-even analysis. The break-even analysis is not our favorite analysis because: It is frequently mistaken for the payback period, the time it takes to recover an investment.

  6. Break-Even Analysis: Definition and Formula

    Starting a new business: When starting a business, break-even analysis can help you figure out the viability of your product or service. If you do this analysis along with writing a business plan ...

  7. Break-Even Analysis Explained—How to Find the Break-Even Point

    Conducting a break-even analysis is a crucial tool for small business owners. If you're planning on launching a business, writing a business plan, or just exploring a new product, knowing your break-even point can tell you whether or not a product or service is a good idea. In this guide, we'll cover what a break-even point is, why it's critical to calculate, how to calculate it, and ...

  8. 5 Easy Steps to Creating a Break-Even Analysis

    Gathering Information for Analysis. Steps to Break-Even Analysis. Analyzing a Break-Even Chart. Photo: Sabine Schedkel/Getty images. Joyce Chan and Iris Leung @ The Balance. Breaking even shows a business where to find the profit point. Learn how to do a break-even analysis and find the point where business is profitable.

  9. How to Apply Break-Even Analysis to Your Business

    The formula to calculate how many products you must sell to break even would look like this: $10,000 / ($100 - $50) = 200. Based on the formula, you would need to sell 200 products to cover your costs, effectively breaking even. To be profitable, you would have to sell at least 201 products.

  10. A Quick Guide to Breakeven Analysis

    A Quick Guide to Breakeven Analysis. In a world of Excel spreadsheets and online tools, we take a lot of calculations for granted. Take breakeven analysis. You've probably heard of it. Maybe ...

  11. How to Calculate Your Break-Even Point

    The basic break-even point calculation is pretty simple (we've got an example that spells it out further down): Break-even point = Total fixed costs / (price per unit - variable costs per unit) Of course, before you can calculate your break-even point, you need to figure out your total fixed costs, variable costs per unit, and price per unit ...

  12. Master the Break Even Analysis: The Ultimate Guide

    Doing a break-even analysis helps mitigate risk by showing you when to avoid a business idea. It will help you avoid failures and limit the financial toll that bad decisions can have on your business. Instead, you can be realistic about the potential outcomes. Fund your business. A break-even analysis is a key component of any business plan. It ...

  13. Break-Even Analysis Template

    A break-even analysis is a critical part of the financial projections in the business plan for a new business. Financing sources will want to see when you expect to break even so they know when your business will become profitable. But even if you're not seeking outside financing, you should know when your business is going to break even.

  14. Break-even point

    The break-even point is the point at which total cost and total revenue are equal, meaning there is no loss or gain for your small business. In other words, you've reached the level of production at which the costs of production equals the revenues for a product. For any new business, this is an important calculation in your business plan.

  15. Exploring Break Even Analysis Business Plan: Strategies for Success

    Integrating break-even analysis into your business plan requires a step-by-step approach: Identify fixed and variable costs that affect your business. Determine the average price of your products or services. Calculate the break-even point using these inputs. Make it a central component of your financial forecasts.

  16. Break-Even Analysis

    Break-even analysis in business plan plays a very crucial role in decision making process of the management related to pricing, production level, sales level, marketing strategies, budgeting, etc. It is a guide for calculating the margin of safety of the production process, based on revebue and cost. It is important to note that this analysis ...

  17. How to Do a Business Plan Break Even Analysis for Beginners

    Break-even point = fixed costs / (average price per unit - variable costs) Using the formula above, and using the example of an entrepreneur that retails shoes. Let's just say his fixed costs are $2,000 a month, and his average sales price is $100. It costs him $40 to buy each shoe, which leaves $60.

  18. Break-Even Calculator

    Once you know these three numbers, you are ready to perform your break even calculation. Using the calculator above, plug in your numbers and see how many units (ie. products) you have to sell in a typical month to cover your costs. The calculator will also tell you the total revenue you will need to bring in to cover your fixed costs PLUS the ...

  19. Break-Even Analysis for Small Business: What It Is and How to Do It

    The break-even point, also called the BEP, refers to the revenue necessary to cover all fixed and variable expenses a business incurs. It is the point where financial losses end and profit begins. As 30% of operating small businesses are losing money, you must be planning so you can at least break even or, better yet, become profitable in the ...

  20. Break Even Analysis

    Break even analysis is a calculation of the quantity sold which generates enough revenues to equal expenses. In securities trading, the meaning of break even analysis is the point at which gains are equal to losses. Another definition of break even analysis is the examination and calculation of the margin of safety that's based on a company ...

  21. Break even analysis

    How to calculate the break-even point for your business? This break-even analysis video explains the break-even point in words, in graphs, and in formulas, a...

  22. How to Do a Break-Even Analysis Before Starting Your Business

    The break-even point is the point at which total revenue and total cost of doing business are equal. Determining a break-even point by conducting a break-even analysis is a critical part of any business plan.This financial analysis is used by entrepreneurs to determine if their new business idea has a chance of success.

  23. How to Calculate Break Even Point in Business Plan #businessplan

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