Skip to main content
Cette page n'est pas encore disponible en français.

Learn How To Calculate Variable Costs

The variable cost formula helpsbusiness plan for the future and minimize spending. Here’s everything you need to know about your business costs and how to calculate them.

When you run a business, the amount of money you have to spend is largely determined by the size and success of your business. If you’re a small company that does minimal sales, you don’t need to spend a ton of money on product development and marketing. However, the larger your company gets, the more products it sells, the more money you’ll have to spend on these costs.

These changing costs are known as variable costs, and they’re an important part of running a business. Understanding how to use the variable cost formula can help you estimate production and marketing costs, that way the growth of your business isn’t a hindrance to its success. In fact, you can design your business, your products, and your marketing in a way that everything grows together to minimize costs.

Every good business plan should include a plan for growth in the future, whether that means taking on more clients, selling more of a product, or developing a specialty product or service that offers greater profitability. No matter what you plan to do, you should have a plan in place to increase sales and grow your business with time.

What are variable costs?

Variable costs are costs that vary based on the volume of products you’re selling. Essentially, the variable cost of a product is the ratio of sales versus to the amount you have to spend in order to make those sales.

Understanding how variable costs work is important if you want to grow your business. The more your sales and production volumes increase, the more you’ll need to spend on production, marketing, and other costs. A solid understanding of variable costs helps when it comes to pricing products and overall business growth.

In contrast, fixed costs are costs that don’t change based on the volume of sales or production. These fixed costs are typically costs that you’re paying on a regular basis, such as the lease or rental payment on your business property, insurance payments, and interest payments.

What’s the difference between fixed and variable costs?

Any cost that changes based on production or sales volume is considered a variable cost, which includes things like the cost of producing a product, advertising costs, and shipping costs. When you’re producing and selling 10,000 of a product rather than 1,000 units, you can expect to pay about 10 times as much in variable costs.

So, what exactly is a fixed cost?

Fixed costs are the opposite of variable costs—these are the costs that remain the same regardless of how many products you’re producing or selling to your customers. While you don’t need to use fixed costs to calculate increases in production and marketing costs when you’re ramping up production, it’s important to consider both fixed and variable costs when you’re making financial decisions regarding your business. After all, you will need to pay these fixed costs in addition to any variable costs you incur as a result of increased production.

Some examples of fixed costs include lease and rental payments, insurance, salaries, utility bills, and loan repayments. You won’t have to pay more rent because you’re producing more, nor will you have to upgrade to a more expensive insurance policy. Employee salaries are fixed at the beginning of each fiscal year, which means you don’t have to worry about payroll varying either.

It’s important to consider both fixed and variable costs when it comes to pricing strategy. You need to price your products so that your company is turning a profit, and you can’t do that just by looking at your variable costs.

What is the variable cost formula?

The good news is that there’s a simple variable cost formula you can use to calculate them. Learning how to find the variable cost is simple, and it can help you grow your business while accounting for increases in production and marketing costs.

There are also several websites you can use to calculate variable costs automatically. All you have to do is put some basic information into a calculator, including your total costs and fixed costs. The calculator will do all the work for you, giving you your total variable cost. You can divide this total variable cost by the number of units you’re producing to determine the variable cost per unit.

While online calculators can be a big help when you’re just starting a business, it’s important to understand how to calculate variable costs and how the formula works. When you understand the inner workings of this formula, you can use it to figure out the variable cost per unit, as well as the percentage of your total costs that are variable costs.

Total variable cost

When you calculate the variable cost using the formula we mentioned above, you’re calculating the total variable cost for your business. What this means is that you’re figuring out how much of your expenses are fixed costs and how much are variable costs. However, this figure doesn’t give you the variable cost per unit, which can make it difficult to use the variable cost formula to forecast variable costs based on increased production.

Total variable cost is a good number to start with, but you may want to divide your total variable cost by the number of units you produce to find the average cost per unit. With both the total variable cost and the average cost per unit, you can predict changes in variable costs based on increases in production. This includes additional marketing costs you may incur as a result of increased production.

That being said, your total variable cost can still help you get a better understanding of your business finances, which can help you make smarter business decisions that lead to a larger ROI.

Average variable cost

Whereas total variable cost is the sum of the variable costs of every unit you produce, average variable cost is the actual variable cost per unit. Calculating the average variable cost is important because it allows you to figure out how your total variable costs would change if you were to increase production or sales.

Let’s say you’re currently producing and selling 1,000 units of a product per month with an average variable cost of $5. For each additional product you produce, you’ll need to add another $5 to your total variable cost. You can figure out your new total variable cost by multiplying the average variable cost by the number of units you plan to produce. You can even input different numbers to see your total variable cost with 2,000 units, 5,000 units, 10,000 units, and so on.

Why are these calculations important?

As a business owner, it’s important to understand all the details that go into running a business. You can’t run a successful business just by making a good product, you have to make sure you’re pricing and marketing those products right. Understanding the variable cost formula can help you estimate the cost of ramping up production or increasing sales, that way you can do what’s best to help your business grow. That being said, it’s also important to look at fixed costs to get a clear picture of your company’s finances.

When you need help tackling day-to-day business operations that help keep your company afloat, Mailchimp can help. Our email marketing services make it easy to reach a wide audience, and we have templates available that can help you save time writing emails. If you need help taking care of some of the busy work on your plate, check out Mailchimp and see how automated email marketing can help.

Share This Article