# How to calculate profit

Page written by Rachel Wait. Last reviewed on June 5, 2024. Next review due July 1, 2025.

The amount you will be asked to pay each month will be based on how much you have left after you pay any rent, food or utility bills. Note that you will be charged interest on these payments.

As a small business, it’s crucial to understand how to calculate profit so that you know how well your business is performing. Read on to find out how to calculate profit for your business.

## The formulas to calculate profit

Profit simply means your business revenue minus any expenses. In other words, it tells you how much your business has earned once all costs have been deducted. The profit can either be kept in the business or reinvested to finance future growth.

There are three main types of profit – gross profit, operating profit and net profit.

### Gross profit

Your gross profit is your total sales minus your direct costs. These include the cost of raw materials and staff wages, for example. The gross profit shows you that you’re selling goods and services at a higher price than they cost you to produce.

You can work out your company’s gross profit with the following calculation:

• Revenue – direct costs = gross profit

### Operating profit

Your operating profit is the income from sales once operating expenses, such as rent, utility bills and equipment, have been deducted. It excludes things like tax and interest and can show you how efficient your business operations are.

To work out your operating profit, carry out the following calculation:

• Gross profit – operating expenses = operating profit

### Net profit

Your net profit shows that you’re making money once all expenses and taxes have been paid. This number comes last on a profit and loss statement which is why it’s known as the bottom line.

You can use the following calculation to work out your net profit:

• Operating profit – tax = net profit

## Example of profit calculation

Eddie runs a hair salon and wants to work out his profit. The figures below will help with his calculations:

• Total revenue = \$150,000
• Direct costs (salon products and staff wages) = \$50,000
• Operating expenses (rent, utility bills, equipment) = \$30,000
• Taxes = \$10,000

To work out his gross profit, Eddie needs to subtract his direct costs of \$50,000 from his total revenue of \$150,000, giving him a gross profit of \$100,000.

To work out his operating profit, Eddie needs to subtract his operating expenses of \$30,000 from his gross profit of \$100,00, giving him an operating profit of \$70,000.

To work out his net profit, Eddie needs to deduct taxes of \$10,000 from his operating profit of \$70,000, giving him a net profit of \$60,000.

## What is profit margin?

Your profit margin is represented as a percentage rather than a figure. It basically says the same thing as profit, but it can be useful to have a percentage if you want to compare your business performance to that of other companies.

For example, if you want to work out your gross profit margin, you need to carry out the following calculation:

• (Gross profit / sales revenue) x 100 = gross profit margin percentage

To work out your net profit margin, it’s:

• (Net profit / sales revenue) x 100 = net profit margin percentage

Using the above examples, Eddie’s gross profit margin would be (\$100,000 / \$150,000) x 100 = 67%.

Eddie’s net profit margin would be (\$60,000 / \$150,000) x 100 = 40%.

## What is a good profit margin?

A good profit margin varies depending on the industry, business model, and economic conditions. In general, a healthy profit margin is one that allows a company to cover its expenses, invest in growth, and generate returns for its stakeholders.

Typically, profit margins are expressed as a percentage of revenue, with higher percentages indicating greater profitability. However, a “good” profit margin can differ between industries. For instance, industries with high overhead costs, such as manufacturing or retail, may have lower profit margins compared to service-based businesses with lower operating expenses.

What defines a good profit margin for a business depends on its unique circumstances, competitive landscape, and long-term financial goals. Comparing profit margins to industry benchmarks and historical performance can provide context for evaluating a company’s profitability.

## Calculating profit FAQs

Profit is one of the main indicators of business performance. It’s simply the money you have left after paying for business expenses. The more profit you make, the better your business is performing.

This can also help you to establish whether you need to make improvements in certain areas. After all, you might be generating a lot of sales, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re making a decent profit. If costs are high, your profit might not be as healthy as you’d like, meaning you’ll need to see where you can make cutbacks.

The terms profit and profitability are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Profit is a specific number, while profitability is a relative amount. Profitability is a metric used to determine the scope of a company’s profit in relation to the size of the business. It can be used to measure how efficient the business is and ultimately, whether it will be a success or failure. Although a company can generate a profit, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the company is profitable.

Although profit and revenue might seem similar, they’re actually very different. Your revenue is the total amount you earn in sales income. Your profit is the income that remains once all expenses have been deducted.

If you’re looking to get funding for your business, perhaps through a business loan, it’s likely that the lender will want you to submit profit and loss statements. This will enable the lender or investor to see how well your business has been performing since it began operating. Your application for funding is more likely to be accepted if you can show that your business is profitable.

The difference between profit and margin lies in their individual context and calculations. Profit refers to the absolute amount of money earned by a business after deducting all expenses from its total revenue. It represents the net income or bottom line of the company’s financial performance.

On the other hand, margin refers to the percentage of profit relative to revenue or sales. There are different types of margins, such as gross margin, operating margin, and net margin, each calculated at various stages of the income statement. Gross margin, for instance, reflects the percentage of revenue retained by the company after deducting the cost of goods sold. Operating margin considers operating expenses, while net margin include all expenses, including taxes and interest.

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Written by

Rachel has been writing about finance and consumer affairs for over a decade, helping people to get to grips with their finances and cut through the jargon. She's written for a range of websites and national newspapers including MoneySuperMarket, Money to the Masses, Forbes UK, and Mail on Sunday. Rachel has covered almost every financial topic, from car insurance and credit cards, to business bank accounts and mortgages.

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