By Tanit de Pouplana, on 29 August 2024

The **profit margin** is a metric that indicates a company's ability to generate profit through its products or services. This metric allows you to understand the profitability of a product or service and is a crucial indicator to determine whether a marketing or product strategy is benefiting the company.

**The formula to calculate the profit margin involves subtracting production, distribution, and other costs from the selling price.** This determines the profit obtained per product or service sold.

**Selling Price – Cost of Product = Profit Margin**

To express this as a percentage, divide the result by the total sales and then multiply by 100.

**(Profit Margin / Total Sales) x 100 **

For the profit margin to be positive, expenses should not exceed sales. This is why it's necessary to regularly review this indicator to adapt if market conditions change.

## How to Calculate It and Example

To correctly calculate the profit margin, follow these steps:

**Calculate Costs Directly Associated with the Product:**Creating and offering a product has costs, including the materials used, promotion, and distribution. These are direct costs that need to be summed to determine the cost to the company.**Subtract the Product Cost from the Selling Price:**To determine the profit from a product, subtract the costs of production, promotion, and distribution from the selling price.**Subtract Indirect Costs from the Previous Result:**Indirect costs include employee salaries, taxes, internet services, machinery, and other expenses not directly associated with the product.**Divide the Result by Total Earnings and Multiply by 100:**This gives the net profit margin percentage.

Let's break down an example:

- After summing the material, promotion, and distribution costs of 10,000 calendars to be sold online, the total investment is estimated at €50,000.
- The calendars will sell for €7 each, potentially earning €70,000. However, you must subtract the €50,000 in direct costs, resulting in a gross profit margin of €20,000.
- There are also indirect costs, such as the software license for designing the calendar, the graphic designer's work hours, internet, electricity, etc., totaling €5,000. Subtracting these from the €20,000 gives a net profit of €15,000.
- Finally, divide the €15,000 net profit by the €70,000 total revenue and multiply by 100, resulting in a 21% profit margin.

To ensure accurate calculation, **consider both direct and indirect costs,** as both are essential in determining if the balance is positive or negative.

## Types and Ideal Profit Margin

There are two types of profit margins: **gross profit margin** and **net profit margin.**

### Gross Profit Margin:

This refers to the profit obtained from a product considering the selling price minus the direct costs of production, promotion, and distribution. This metric helps a company decide the price of a product or service. If this profit is low, the company could lose money.

To calculate **gross profit margin** follow this formula:

Gross Profie Margin = Sales Price - Cost Of The Product

### Net Profit Margin:

Unlike the gross profit margin, this calculation includes all costs, not just those directly related to the product. This encompasses all company expenses (energy costs, salaries, premises, machinery, etc.), which are subtracted from the gross margin. The result is expressed as a percentage.

Calculating the **net profit margin** involves the following formula:

Net Profit Margin = (Total Costs - Gross Profit Margin / Total Sales) * 100

The net profit margin determines a company's profitability, so the higher it is, the better. This margin **must be broad enough to cover all expenses, both direct and indirect, and generate profit for the company.**

However, setting high prices for products or services is not the solution to generate more profit. The key is finding a balance between the company's costs and what consumers are willing to pay.

It's also important to note that there is no universal profit margin suitable for all types of businesses. The margin depends on the sector, type of activity, and the products or services offered. For instance, profit margins for a grocery store cannot be compared to those of a jewelry store.

## Recommendations to Increase Your Product Margin

If the profit margin is too low and the company is not making a profit, **consider the following:**

**Analyze All Costs:**Especially those directly related to the product, to identify areas where costs can be reduced without compromising quality. For example, look for new raw material suppliers or negotiate discounts with current ones for bulk purchases.**Optimize Processes:**Increase profit margins by optimizing production and distribution processes. Automate tasks partially or entirely to reduce resource consumption. Improving energy efficiency can also help, although this requires investment in more efficient equipment.**Set Prices Correctly:**Know the value of the product and what consumers are willing to pay. Diversify income sources by offering various products or services. Manage inventory effectively to balance production and demand and avoid overstock.**Implement a Good Marketing Strategy:**Reach the target audience and make them aware of the company and its offerings. Without sales, there is no profit, so it's crucial to carry out actions that generate sales.

By following these recommendations, you can improve your profit margins and ensure your business remains profitable.