The breakeven point is the point at which a business’s revenue and expenses are equal. In other words, it is the point at which the business is no longer losing money and is starting to make a profit.
Breakeven points are typically calculated by determining the total fixed costs (such as rent and salaries) and variable costs (such as the cost of goods sold) and then dividing that number by the difference between the price of the product or service and the variable cost per unit.
This calculation will give the number of units that need to be sold in order to break even.Understanding the breakeven point is important for businesses because it helps them to determine the minimum number of units that need to be sold in order to cover their costs and start making a profit.
It also helps them to set pricing strategies and make decisions about production and marketing. For example, if a business knows that it needs to sell a certain number of units to break even, it can then decide to lower the price in order to increase demand and reach that breakeven point faster
Understanding the break even point
Understanding the business breakeven point is crucial for any business, as it represents the point at which a company’s revenue and expenses are equal. Once a business reaches its breakeven point, it begins to make a profit. To calculate the breakeven point, a business must first determine its total fixed costs and variable costs.
Fixed costs are expenses that do not change regardless of the number of units produced or sold, such as rent, salaries, and insurance. Variable costs, on the other hand, are costs that vary with the number of units produced or sold, such as the cost of raw materials, labor, and packaging. To calculate the breakeven point, a business must add its fixed costs to its variable costs and divide that number by the difference between the price of the product or service and the variable cost per unit.
The breakeven point is a useful tool for businesses as it helps them to determine the minimum number of units that need to be sold to cover their costs and make a profit. Once a business understands its breakeven point, it can then make more informed decisions about pricing, production, and marketing. For example, a business may choose to lower its price to increase demand and reach the breakeven point faster, or it may choose to increase production in order to reach the breakeven point more quickly.
Purpose of a break even point analysis
The purpose of a breakeven point analysis is to determine the point at which a business’s revenue and expenses are equal, and the business begins to make a profit. A breakeven point analysis is an important tool for businesses because it helps them to understand their costs and pricing strategies, and make decisions about production and marketing.
Knowing the breakeven point can help a business to determine the minimum number of units that need to be sold to cover their costs and start making a profit. This information can be used to set pricing strategies and make decisions about production and marketing. For example, if a business knows that it needs to sell a certain number of units to break even, it can then decide to lower the price in order to increase demand and reach that breakeven point faster. Additionally, it can also be used to evaluate the potential success of new products or services by determining the breakeven point for a new product or service, a business can determine whether or not it is likely to be profitable.
Overall, a breakeven analysis is an essential tool for businesses as it helps them to understand their costs, pricing strategies, and production and marketing decisions. By understanding their breakeven point, businesses can better control their costs and increase their chances of success.
How to calculate break even point
Calculating the breakeven point is relatively straightforward and involves determining the total fixed costs and variable costs of a business and then dividing that number by the difference between the price of the product or service and the variable cost per unit. First, you need to determine the total fixed costs, which are expenses that do not change regardless of the number of units produced or sold, such as rent, salaries, and insurance.
Next, you need to determine the variable costs, which are costs that vary with the number of units produced or sold, such as the cost of raw materials, labor, and packaging. Then, you add the fixed costs to the variable costs and divide that number by the difference between the price of the product or service and the variable cost per unit.
This calculation will give you the number of units that need to be sold in order to break even.
For example, let’s say a business has fixed costs of £10,000 and variable costs of £5 per unit. The business wants to sell its product for £10 per unit. The breakeven point can be calculated by: (£10,000 + (£5 x number of units)) / (£10 – £5) = number of units required to break even.
It is important to note that the breakeven point can also be expressed in terms of revenue or in terms of profit. A breakeven analysis can also be done in terms of profit by dividing the fixed costs by the profit margin.
Break even point formula
Whether you choose to calculate the number in units or sales income will affect the break even threshold formula to apply. Those that offer tangible goods might favour the first choice, whereas companies that sell services might favour the second.
To calculate break even point using units:
Break even Point = Fixed Costs / (Revenue per Unit – Variable Cost per Unit)
In contrast, you must first determine the contribution margin in order to calculate break even point using sales in GBP. This is computed by taking the product price, deducting the variable costs, and dividing the result by the sale price per unit:
Contribution Margin = (Price of Product – Variable Costs) / Price Per Unit
Therefore, the break even point calculation in this scenario would be as follows:
Break even Point = Fixed Costs / Contribution Margin
Any costs that are independent of the quantity of things sold are referred to as fixed costs for the purposes of these formulae. This could involve expenses for production, office rent, and advertising. Variable costs are the sums paid for things like labour and parts that are susceptible to changes in the market.
Break even point example
Break even point example: Consider the following example of a break even point in the real world to demonstrate how this type of calculation functions. A small batch ice cream business is thinking about introducing a new peppermint flavour. To decide whether investing in the product would be worthwhile, the corporation must understand its breakeven point. The expenses for the first month of production would be:

Fixed Costs = £3,000

Variable Costs = £0.50 (per small container of ice cream)

Sales Price = £2.50 (per small container)
The following calculation can be used to determine the break even point per unit:
 £3000 / (2.50 – 0.50) or 3000 / 2.0
This would equate to 1500 units, therefore in order for the ice cream company to break even in the first month, it would have to sell 1500 containers of its new peppermint flavour.
You must first determine the contribution margin using these steps, expressed in GBP:

(2.50 – 0.50) / 2.50 = 0.8
Then, enter this value in the formula for the breakeven point:

£3000 / 0.8 = £3,750
This means that in order for the ice cream business to break even, it would need to sell £3,750 worth of the new peppermint flavour. The corporation can consider if these sales estimates are feasible given the market conditions now that it has this knowledge.
Conclusion
In conclusion, understanding the breakeven point is essential for any business as it helps them to determine the minimum number of units required to be sold to cover their costs, and make a profit. By calculating and understanding the breakeven point, businesses can make better decisions about pricing, production, and marketing strategies. It also helps them to evaluate the potential success of new products or services.
With over three decades of experience in the business and turnaround sector, Steve Jones is one of the founders of Business Insolvency Helpline. With specialist knowledge of Insolvency, Liquidations, Administration, Prepacks, CVA, MVL, Restructuring Advice and Company investment.