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July 31, 2023

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Using Gross Profit Margin to Grow Your Business

5 min read

Gross profit margin is a financial metric used to measure the profitability of a business. It is calculated based on a company’s cost of goods sold (COGS) and revenue. Other expenses such as operating expenses, taxes, and interest, are excluded when calculating it. Gross profit margin is important for businesses to track because it helps to identify opportunities for increasing efficiency and for reducing costs. Below we discuss how to calculate it and how you can use it to make better decisions about your business operations.

Calculating gross profit margin

To calculate gross profit margin, you need to know your business’s total revenue and COGS. Total revenue is all money generated from your business’s sales of goods or services. COGS is the sum of all costs directly incurred when producing and selling those goods or services. For example, the cost of raw materials and the cost of labor. Performing this calculation is simple: subtract your COGS from total revenue,divide the result by your total revenue, multiply by 100. The resulting number is expressed as a percentage.

As an example, suppose a business has total revenue of $100,000 and COGS of $60,000. After applying the following calculation, we arrive at a forty percent:

100,000 – 60,000 = 40,000
40,000 / 100,000 = 0.4
4 x 100 = 40

This can be a useful metric for businesses to track because it provides a snapshot of how well a company generates profit from its operations. Comparing your gross profit margin to industry benchmarks, or to your own performance over time, will help you to see areas where you can improve efficiency and increase profits.

 

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Using gross profit margin to make better business decisions

  • Identify ways to reduce costs: A low gross profit margin is a sign that your business should look for ways to reduce COGS. Consider negotiating better prices for materials, streamlining production process, or finding more efficient ways to use labor.
  • Track your business’s performance: Keep track of your gross profit over time and compare it to industry benchmarks. Doing this allows you to identify trends and patterns regarding profit, and to make adjustments to your operations as needed. If your figures are consistently lower than the industry average, consider changing your pricing strategy, expanding your product line, or finding new ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
  • Make strategic decisions about operations: When considering whether to expand into a new market or launch a new product, consider the potential impact on your gross profit margin. This will allow you to make informed decisions about the potential profitability of these initiatives and how to allocate your resources accordingly.
  • Analyze the financial performance of your competitors: Comparing the gross profit margins of different businesses within your industry will provide a sense of which companies are the most efficient and profitable. Use this information to inform your own strategic decisions.

Keeping track of your gross profit margin can help you to understand the profitability of your operations, to identify ways to improve efficiency, and to make better decisions about future growth. Tracking and analyzing it will give you valuable insights into your performance so that you can take steps to increase profits and grow your business.

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