Subtract the costs from your revenue and you get the profit, your actual gain. This is one of those laws we learn in school and that we all end up taking for granted. Then we actually end up forgetting about it, when we decide to start a business.
And often we will start looking for a reason why our business is failing when it’s already too late. You wonder how the margins of your earnings could be so low, when sales were fine.
You wonder why, despite fifty orders per day, your business kept dying, little by little every day, until the company accounts have inevitably gone in red.
The reason is almost always there: hidden among the folds of those unaccounted costs that you somehow missed, that you did not consider.
Many businesses fail because their owners, as a matter of fact, didn’t plan an in-depth analysis of the relationship between costs and revenues. It’s the story of Jonathan, who bought clothes abroad to resell them on his e-commerce.
The sale price was higher than the purchase price and that was enough for him to believe he had a fair margin of profit. But Jonathan, in his enthusiasm and inexperience, forgot something. He had underestimated his shipping costs, forgot about customs costs and the costs of labeling individual garments. His business, which also had all the potential to succeed,managed to hold together only for about three months.
The most popularly sold product of its e-commerce, a t-shirt that customers could choose to customize, was the cause itself for the total bankruptcy of its business: it may have high sales, but the cost of customization – that were also underestimated from the beginning – they completely cancelled the profit margin.