Do It Yourself: How To Calculate Profit Margin

Do It Yourself: How To Calculate Profit Margin

Last updated on June 5th, 2023

Written by Mohamed Aden

When selling a product, it's important to understand how much profit you're making on each sale. Doing this can ensure that your company is profitable and sustainable. After all, the more money you make on each sale, the more successful your business will be in the long run.

Knowing your profit margins can help you make pricing decisions and determine whether you're offering a good deal to your customers. But how to calculate profit margin, exactly? What factors influence it? What can you do to increase it? This guide will walk you through the process of calculating profit margins so that you can keep your business on track. 

What Is a Profit Margin?

A profit margin is the percentage of revenue a company keeps after accounting for all its expenses, such as the cost of goods sold, operating expenses, and taxes. It’s a key metric for assessing the financial health of a business, as it indicates how well a company can generate profits from its revenue.

A high-profit margin means that a company is efficient and has low overhead costs, while a low-profit margin indicates a company is struggling to generate profits. Businesses can also use the profit margin to compare companies within the same industry since businesses with similar costs and revenue levels typically have the same margins.

Companies with high margins are more attractive to investors than those with low margins. This is because high margins indicate that a company has a strong competitive advantage and can generate significant profits even when operating in a difficult market environment.

However, it's important to keep in mind that there’s no right or wrong level of profit margin. Instead, what matters most is whether the company is profitable and whether its margins increase or decrease over time.

How to Calculate Profit Margin

To calculate profit margin, you'll first need to gather some financial data. This includes your total revenue and expenses for a specific period. Once you have this information, you can use the following formula:

Profit Margin = (Total Revenue - Total Expenses) / Total Revenue

Multiply the answer by 100 and this will give you your profit margin as a percentage. For example, if your total revenue is $100,000 and your expenses are $80,000, using the formula, your profit margin would be 20%. 

Keep in mind that profit margins can vary from one industry to another. For example, businesses in the retail sector typically have lower margins than companies in the technology sector. Several industries have low-profit margins. These include the retail industry, the restaurant industry, and the hospitality industry. In each of these industries, businesses have to contend with high costs, fierce competition, and slim margins.

As a business owner, knowing the usual profit margins for your industry and products is important to benchmark your performance. By paying attention to your profit margin, you can make informed decisions about allocating your resources and how to price your products or services.

The Components of Profit Margin

Any business owner may benefit from knowing their profit margin. By understanding the different components that make up your company's margin, you can identify ways to improve it and increase your profits. Here are the main components of a profit margin:

Gross Profit Margin

A crucial indicator of a company's profitability is its gross margin (GM). It measures the difference between a company's revenue from its sales and the cost of goods sold. In other words, it measures how much profit a business makes on all of its sales over a period. 

In general, most businesses aim for a gross profit margin of at least 20%. A business with a high gross margin makes a lot of profit on each sale. On the other hand, a low gross margin shows that a business is not making much profit on each transaction. 

Keep in mind that this number will fluctuate over time as costs change and sales rise and fall. However, monitoring your gross profit margin may help you understand how your company is generally doing.

How to calculate Gross Profit Margin

To calculate your gross profit margin (GPM), start by adding your total revenue for the time period you want to cover. This will be your total revenue. Then use the formula to compute the GPM: 

Gross Profit Margin = (Total Revenue - Cost of Goods Sold) / Total Revenue

Let's say you have total sales of $100,000 and the cost of goods sold is $40,000. Your gross profit would be $60,000. To find the margin, you would divide $60,000 by $100,000 and multiply the answer by 100 to get 60%. That means your gross profit margin is 60%.

Operating Margin

The operating margin is the difference between a company's revenue and operating expenses. It evaluates a company's profitability and cash flow generation capacity. Operation margins vary from industry to industry, so comparing a company's operating margin to its competitors is important when measuring its performance. But as a general guideline, you have to strive for an operating margin of about 15%. This will give you enough room to cover your costs and still make a profit.

A high operating profit margin indicates that a company can generate much profit with relatively little operating expenses, which can signify strong management and a well-run business. Conversely, a low operating profit margin may indicate that a company is overspending on marketing or manufacturing or that its products are not in high enough demand to generate much revenue.

How to calculate Operating Profit Margin

To calculate the operating profit margin, take the company's operating profit after deducting all expenses related to selling its products or services, and divide it by its revenue. The resulting number gives us the percentage of each sales dollar the company keeps as profit.

Operating Profit Margin = (Total Revenue - Operating eExpenses) / Total Revenue
For example, a company has total revenue of $100,000 and total operating expenses of $80,000. This gives us an operating income of $20,000. We then divide the $20,000 operating income by the $100,000 total revenue to get an operating profit margin percentage of 20%.

Net Margin

The net margin shows the percentage of revenue the company has made after deducting all expenses, including taxes and interest on the debt. A high net profit is an indication that the business is doing good. 

Net profit is also a good indicator of future earnings potential. A company with a high net profit generates a lot of cash and is in good financial health. Businesses can use this money to invest in new products, expand into new markets, or pay dividends to shareholders.

How to calculate Net Profit Margin

To calculate your net profit margin, you'll need to take your total revenue for some time and subtract your expenses. This will give you your net profit. From there, you'll divide your net profit by your total revenue and multiply by 100 to get a percentage. 

Net Profit Margin = (Total Revenue - Total Expenses including taxes and other deductions) / Total Revenue

For example, let's say your business had total revenue of $100,000 and expenses of $80,000 over a year. Your net profit would be $20,000. To calculate the percentage, divide your net profit ($20,000) by your total revenue ($100,000), which would give you 0.2. Multiplying that number by 100 would give you a net profit margin of 20%

Factors That Can Affect Profit Margin

Every business owner knows that profit margin is important. However, several factors might impact a company's profit margin. The intrinsic properties of the business may influence some of these, while others are beyond its control. Nevertheless, here are a few key factors to keep in mind:


If a business can charge a high price for its product or service, it will likely have a higher profit margin. So, be careful to set competitive prices for your goods or services. If your prices are too high, you'll lose customers; if it’s too low, you won't make enough profit to cover your costs.


If your business can charge a high price for their product or service, you will likely have a higher profit margin. So take a close look at your costs and see where you can cut back on your spending.


If there's high demand for your product or service, you'll be in a good position to charge a higher price. However, if there is no demand, you might have to cut your pricing to draw more customers.


If many businesses offer similar products or services, you will likely need to price their offerings competitively, lowering profit margins. However, see to it that you’re still pricing your products reasonably. This is so you won’t kill the industry you’re in. 

By carefully monitoring these factors and making adjustments as necessary, you can ensure that you are maximizing your profits. In addition, you should also be aware of external factors that can impact your profit margins, such as the state of the economy or changes in the competitive landscape. Once more, your company may implement strategies to stay ahead of the curve by carefully monitoring these factors.

Profit margin

Final Thoughts

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know how much the business world has changed significantly. Increasing competition, technology’s impact, and evolving customer needs have all contributed to a more challenging landscape for businesses of all sizes. So to stay ahead of the curve, it's essential to focus on safeguarding your business by improving your profit margin.

If you’re looking for ways to increase your profits, you need to start paying attention to your profit margin. Your profit margin determines how much money you make from your sales. This number is determined by subtracting total expenses from total revenue and dividing that figure by total revenue. Therefore, the components of profit margin can give insights into where your business may be losing money or making more than necessary.

However, like most small business owners, you probably do much of the work yourself. Aside from being your own boss, you're also your accountant, marketer, and salesperson. And that's a great thing! But, calculating profit margin can be tricky for self-starters. Hiring a competent account manager can help you manage matters in your business that may be difficult to do while trying to sell your products or services. 

If you want to learn more about scaling your Amazon business, maximizing your potential revenue, or any questions specific to your business, our team of experts with years of expertise in managing Amazon businesses would be happy to help. Let us help you find ways to improve your company's profitability so you can continue growing and thriving. Reach us at [email protected].

Go from surviving to thriving on Amazon.

Use the power and influence of advertising to increase sales. Learn more about how you can benefit from our management expertise.
Book a Call
Become a better seller

Read More

Understanding Amazon Ads: What Does 'Sponsored' Mean on Amazon? Amazon advertising home screen on a cellphone.

Last updated on March 17th, 2023 Written by Ken Zhou When looking for the best item on the Amazon marketplace, those at the top of search results are always our first options. It's an open secret: sponsored items are the first to appear, so we immediately think they're bestsellers or have good reviews.  But what […]

How Long Does It Take for Amazon to Refund or Reimburse? A Guide How long does it take for amazon to refund?

Last updated on March 17th, 2023 Written by Ken Zhou Most answers online will say it takes 7 to 10 business days. It's correct, though applicable only in some circumstances. The answer is much more specific, depending on someone’s role in the marketplace. For starters, buyers and sellers go through different processes to get their […]

Using Walmart Ad Like A Pro Billboard Advertising

Last updated on March 17th, 2023 Written by Ken Zhou It’s no secret that Walmart is one of the most meticulously crafted marketplaces in the world. On top of that, they’re also meticulous when it comes to maintaining the performance of their sellers, which must be on par with their standards. While it has only […]