Understanding Business Profitability

In a business environment, profit and loss are important factors that companies have to keep track of. Profit, in business, means cash coming in minus the cost of making it. Loss, on the other hand, comes in when the company loses money. The differences between these two are often a major point of contention between entrepreneurs and business owners.

Many small business owners would like to see more profit, but aren’t sure how to go about making it happen. The best way to increase profits without hurting the bottom line, is by increasing margins or cutting expenses so that the company can increase its profits. In fact, business consultants from companies large and small have different opinions on how to make a profit in a given business environment, so it’s necessary for an entrepreneur to seek expert insights into this matter.

Profit is essentially the money that a business earns after deducting all costs. Whether it is a lemonade stand in the corner of the block or a publicly-held multinational corporation, the goal of any successful business is to make money, so obviously, the main objective of any business, in its most general form, is to make profit. To do this, businesses have to use their resources (human capital plus capital) to turn raw materials into sold goods or services. They also have to use their creativity and brains to produce new goods and services that their competitors are unable to produce. It all leads to profit.

So, basically, profit is the difference between total costs and total profits. Most businesses calculate their profits by using either the gross and net profit margins. The gross profit margin, which includes everything from raw materials to labor and overhead to sales, is considered the “real” profit of the business. The net profit margin, which is calculated by subtracting expenses from revenues, represents the difference between revenues and costs, which are termed the “impairments.”

The purpose of this article is to provide insight on how a business should measure its profitability. In essence, businesses measure their profits by either counting the amount they earn minus the amount they spend. However, counting profits negatively is not advisable because it is pointless. Why? Because counting profits reduces businesses’ income statement (income sheet) into a single dimension, which diminishes liquidity impacts the strength of the company’s financial base. On the other hand, counting profits positively provides a more accurate picture of a businesses overall profitability.

When a company calculates its net profit margin, one of the first numbers to come up is the EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) and NPV (net profit). These numbers are derived based on a number of different factors, but the most common are the cost of capital, market share, and gross profit. The first number indicates how profitable a particular business is, while the second represents the profitability of a particular product or service. The third number, commonly referred to as the gross profit margin, is usually the worst case scenario of a companies operating profit. This number indicates only how much profit a company makes at the end of a quarter compared to its net profit.

Calculating a companies overall profit is crucial for investors, especially those who buy stock in the stock market. The primary reason for calculating profit is because companies use them to determine their viability as an investment. A company’s overall profit is usually derived from the net profit, operating profit, gross profit, and net profit margin. A positive bottom line is indicative of healthy profitability. A negative bottom line, on the other hand, indicates that the company could stand to lose a significant amount of money.

So, when a business is figuring out its profitability it must consider both the positive bottom line and the negative one. Investors must choose a company with both positive and negative profits. A company’s stock market value is largely dependent on investors making good decisions with their profits and losses.