Forecasting sales of shoes has started you thinking. Selling twelve thousand pair of shoes the first year you run the business sounds great, but you still need to find an answer to the all-important question: are there enough customers willing to buy my jogging shoes at a price that will allow me to make a profit? Is there some way to figure out the level of sales I would need to avoid losing money—to “break even”? Fortunately, an accountant friend of yours informs you that there is. Not surprisingly, it’s called breakeven analysisMethod of determining the level of sales at which the company will break even (have no profit or loss)., and here’s how it works: to break even (have no profit or loss), total sales revenue must exactly equal all your expenses (both variable and fixed). To determine the level of sales at which this will occur, you need to do the following:
Determine your total fixed costsCosts that don’t change when the amount of goods sold changes., which are so called because the total cost doesn’t change as the quantity of goods sold changes:
Identify your variable costsCosts that vary, in total, as the quantity of goods sold changes but stay constant on a per-unit basis.. These are costs that vary, in total, as the quantity of goods sold changes but that stay constant on a per-unit basis. State variable costs on a per-unit basis:
Determine your contribution margin per unitExcess of revenue per unit over variable cost per unit.: selling price per unit less variable cost per unit:
Calculate your breakeven point in unitsNumber of sales units at which net income is zero.: fixed costs ÷ contribution margin per unit:
Your calculation means that if you sell 8,571 pairs of shoes, you will end up with zero profit (or loss) and will exactly break even.
If your sales estimate is realistic (a big “if”), then you should be optimistic about starting the business. All your fixed costs will be covered once you sell 8,571 pairs of shoes. Any sales above that level will be pure profit. So, if you sell your expected level of twelve thousand pairs of shoes, you’ll make a profit of $120,015 for the first year. Here’s how we calculated that profit:
As you can see, breakeven analysis is pretty handy. It allows you to determine the level of sales that you must reach to avoid losing money and the profit you’ll make if you reach a higher sales goal. Such information will help you plan for your business.
For the past ten years, you’ve worked at a PETCO Salon as a dog groomer. You’re thinking of starting your own dog grooming business. You found a place you could rent that’s right next to a popular shopping center, and two of your friends (who are also dog groomers) have agreed to work for you. The problem is that you need to borrow money to start the business and your banker has asked for a breakeven analysis. You have prepared the following cost estimates for your first year of operations:
|Rent and utilities
|Variable Cost per Dog
You went online and researched grooming prices in your area. Based on your review, you have decided to charge $32 for each grooming.