What is the profit equation? How to calculate it

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eduardo SEO Specialist and content production, I have worked in several renowned companies in Brazil and abroad. I write about money, technology and more!

When it comes to business, profit means success, and the profit equation, in turn, is used as a measure for external investors and shareholders to analyze the company’s worth. In a few words, all the results you earn can help them make appropriate decisions about their next moves. It’s enough to include a little math on your day. After all, if you know how to calculate that bottom line, you can bring more money to grow and expand.

In this article, you will learn more about the meaning behind the profit equation, how to calculate it, and what it says about your business. Keep reading!

What is the profit equation? 

Let’s start with the basics. Profit represents the amount of revenue that exceeds all the costs within a certain period — day, week, month, or year, for instance. Revenue, in turn, is the total income you earn by selling goods or offering services. Finally, the costs can be variable (labor, commissions, raw material, etc.) or fixed (rent, tax, insurance, etc.). 

So the profit equation is a method used to calculate all positive cash flow that you earned with your company. In general, entrepreneurs adopt three well-known metrics to evaluate how a business is doing: gross profit equation, net profit equation, and operation profit equation. Each one can add monetary value according to your goals. Keep those names in mind because you will learn more about them in the next section.

How can you calculate it?

There is a simple way to calculate it. All you need to do is apply a basic equation, deducting the costs from the total revenue. The formula below is the baseline for any of the three metrics (gross, net, and operating) we will bring in this article. Each is calculated based on specific categories of costs from the total earnings. To warm up with the math, take a look at your starting point:

Profit = Revenue (total) – Costs (variable and fixed)

Companies apply different methods to assess particular aspects of a business and how they are performing. There is also the possibility of creating a profit margin equation by getting one of the metrics. Then divide it by the revenue and multiply by one hundred. If you’re evaluating the net profit margin, for instance, the formula goes this way:

Gross Profit Margin = (Gross Profit / Revenue) x 100
Net Profit Margin = (Net Profit / Revenue) x 100
Operating Profit Margin = (Operating Profit / Revenue) x 100

It’s time to dive into the three main types of the profit equation. By calculating different samples, you will have a clearer picture of your business in your hands in terms of profitability and efficiency. 

Gross profit equation

One of the most popular metrics with retailers and manufacturers, also the easiest one to calculate, is the gross profit. It shows how profitable a business is by subtracting the production costs from its generated revenue. As it gives key insights, a company uses this as an indicator of its profit before managing the upcoming expenses.

Gross Profit = Revenue – Direct Costs

Net profit equation

Also known as net income, the net profit is the most common metric among entrepreneurs and companies. Unlike the gross profit that assesses the production costs, it comes when you subtract all your expenses from its generated revenue. Executives and analysts use the net profit to define how much money they make within a certain period. In a few words, it reflects your ability to convert income into profit.

Net Profit = Revenue – All Costs (operating, interest, taxes)

Operating profit equation

Finally, the operating profit offers an overview of a company’s financial performance. In a few words, it represents the total profit of a business operation after paying all the operating expenses. Plus, it can help you understand how efficient your operations are. It’s a good indicator of a growing company being willing to reach another level.

Operating Profit = Revenue – Direct Costs – Operating Costs (rent, salaries, etc.)

Why should you understand the profit equation?

By now, you already might know the answer. The ultimate goal of any business is to make money and grow. The only way of doing so includes measuring their performance according to their profitability. Here is where the profit equation comes in to help you assess particular aspects of your business while collecting invaluable insights:

  • Show the company’s financial health and gaps to improve;
  • Keep your expenses manageable, guiding your next steps;
  • Open opportunities to scale and better allocate investments;
  • Maximize business growth by optimizing your operations.

By knowing how to use the profit equation to calculate profitability, entrepreneurs can focus on improving their business planning and decision-making. Whether you apply the general formula or choose one (or more) metric, the main goal is to optimize your day for a more strategic approach to making money and growing. 

Besides your financial performance, you can also enhance how you pay your employees overseas with a multi-currency account. Learn more about Husky.

eduardo SEO Specialist and content production, I have worked in several renowned companies in Brazil and abroad. I write about money, technology and more!

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