Break-even point SMEs
Know your sales objective

Break-even point

The "break-even point" in finance, also known as the operational break-even point, is a crucial concept in business management and financial analysis. It refers to the level of production or sales at which a company's total revenues equal its total costs. At this point, the company neither makes a profit nor incurs a loss, but merely covers all its operating and production costs.

Break-even analysis is essential for business decision-making because it helps managers understand the minimum level of activity the company must maintain to avoid losses. This is useful for planning and evaluating the impact of changes in sales prices, costs, or sales volumes. 

To calculate the break-even point in units sold, the following formula is used: 


  • Fixed Costs are those that do not change with the level of production or sales (such as rent, fixed salaries, etc.).
  • Selling Price per Unit is the price at which each unit of the product or service is sold.
  • Variable Cost per Unit is the cost that varies directly with each unit produced or sold (such as materials, direct labor, etc.)

We want to know how much, or to what price, our sales of products or service pay for all the cost to keep doing business.

Why it is important to know the Break-even point, especially for SMEs.

The break-even analysis is a fundamental tool for SMEs, providing crucial insights that help in navigating the complexities of business operations, ensuring financial health, and guiding strategic decisions.

  1. Resource Management: SMEs often operate with limited resources, including finances, manpower, and materials. Knowing the break-even point helps them manage these resources more effectively by setting clear targets for revenue and production. This ensures that they are not overspending and that every effort contributes towards covering their costs.

  2. Financial Planning and Security: Understanding the break-even point allows SMEs to make informed financial decisions that secure their business's survival. It provides a foundation for creating budgets, securing loans, and making investment decisions. By knowing how much they need to sell to cover costs, owners can plan for future growth and ensure financial stability.

  3. Pricing Strategy: Break-even analysis influences pricing strategies. SMEs can use this information to decide how to price their products or services competitively while still making a profit once they surpass the break-even point. This is crucial in competitive markets where pricing can be the difference between success and failure.

  4. Risk Management: By identifying the break-even point, SMEs can better assess risk. Knowing how many units need to be sold to cover costs helps in understanding how changes in the market or in operational costs could impact profitability. This is vital for contingency planning and for preparing strategies to mitigate risks associated with fluctuations in sales or increases in costs.

  5. Performance Measurement: The break-even point offers a clear metric for measuring business performance. It helps in setting realistic sales targets and in monitoring operational efficiency. SMEs can use this metric to evaluate how well they are doing in terms of sales and to motivate staff towards achieving specific sales goals.

  6. Strategic Decision-Making: With a clear view of their financial thresholds, SMEs can make strategic decisions about expanding their product line, entering new markets, or adjusting their business model. Knowing the financial impact of these decisions and how they will affect the break-even point is crucial for long-term success.

Difference between Salaried Employees and Private Services Contract.
from the perspective of the CCSS, Ministry of Labor and Finance.