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What is a Breakeven Analysis?

In its simplest form, the breakeven point tells you how many units of goods you need to sell to cover all of your fixed and variable costs.

Variable costs are those that change as the number of units produced changes. These costs include such things as labor and materials.

Fixed costs, on the other hand, do not change with units produced. Examples are rent, utilities and property insurance.

Breakeven occurs when your business is neither making nor losing money.

How to Calculate Breakeven

Determine the following three things:

Simple Breakeven Formulas Cheatsheet

  • Total expenses = variable costs + fixed costs

  • Total expenses = (units x variable cost per unit) + fixed costs

  • Since the variable costs are often not the same for every unit, you can think of the variables costs as an average for the breakeven analysis. At breakeven

  • Price x units = (units x variable cost per unit) + fixed costs

  • Determining the number of units that needs to be sold to arrive at breakeven gives you
  • Breakeven units = fixed costs/(price – variable cost per unit)

  • Example: Your monthly fixed costs are $6000. The average unit price for the things you sell is $4 and the average variable cost per unit is $1. That means for every item you sell, you have $3 covering your fixed costs. To breakeven, you need to sell 2000 units.

    2000 units = $6000/($4-$1)

    It's easy to calculate breakeven price as well as breakeven units as we did in the example above. Since we know that 2000 units is breakeven and the price per unit is $4, the breakeven price is simply

    $8000 = 2000 x $4.

    To calculate gross margin percent:

  • (Price – variable cost per unit)/price = gross margin percentage


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