Variable Cost: What It Is and How to Calculate It

Variable Cost Explained in 200 Words

If the average variable cost of one unit is found using your total variable cost, don’t you already know how much one unit of your product costs to develop? Can’t you work backward, and simply divide your total variable cost by the number of units you have? The total variable cost equals the total number of goods a business produces, multiplied by the cost per unit. In conclusion, variable Variable Cost Explained in 200 Words costs are a key part of any business’s financial strategy. They can help you make informed decisions about how much to invest in the production of a product and determine whether it is financially viable. Variable costs should be carefully analyzed before making any investment decision in order to ensure that your business will remain profitable even with fluctuating market conditions.

  • Variable costs can be listed as average variable cost per unit or total variable cost.
  • It can choose between paying $1,000 or $0.05 for every item manufactured.
  • Understanding the classification of your costs is critical to the calculation.
  • Average variable costs can be helpful to determine how much the production of 1 unit costs.

Fixed costs and variable costs operate differently in a business’s production, and we’ll explain why the offer isn’t so bad in this explanation. Alternatively, if there was currently a period of economic growth, companies might expect production to increase on the back of rising demand. As a result, a company would need to buy more materials and perhaps hire more workers to make their products. Because of this, variable costs would increase in line with an increase in demand. A company usually strives to competitively price its goods to recover the cost to manufacture the goods. By performing variable cost analysis, a company will better grasp the inputs for its products and what it needs to collect in revenue per unit to make sure its earning money.

Which Costs More, Fixed or Variable Interest?

To work this out, the formula, running costs divided by 1 minus Unit’s variable cost divided by unit price is used. The break-even point calculation allows food service operators to calculate the number of covers or total sales needed to cover all costs of the operation given the level of business generated.

Variable Cost Explained in 200 Words

By reducing its variable costs, a business increases its gross profit margin or contribution margin. A company’s break-even point is calculated as fixed costs divided contribution margin, and contribution margin is calculated as revenue – variable costs. A company can leverage variable cost analysis to calculate exactly how many items it needs to see to break-even as well as how many units it needs to sell to make a specific amount of money.

Introduction to Food Production and Service

These can be experience curves or more efficient production practices. The graphs shown in this section are samples; each business will have different variables and parameters that change the steepness and shape of the graph. A business can also have discretionary expenses such as gifts, vacations, and entertainment costs. These are desirable, but you can choose whether to have them or not. IG International Limited is part of the IG Group and its ultimate parent company is IG Group Holdings Plc.

How do you explain variable cost?

A variable cost is an expense that changes in proportion to production output or sales. When production or sales increase, variable costs increase; when production or sales decrease, variable costs decrease.


With this knowledge, you can better understand and manage your company’s finances going forward. Another example of variable costs would be if a business produces hats at $5 each. If the business produces 200 units, its variable cost would be $1,000. But if the company does not produce any hats, it will not incur any variable costs for the production of the hats. Similarly, if it produces 1,000 hats, the variable cost would rise to $5,000. Fixed costs are generally easier to plan, manage, and budget for than variable costs. However, as a business owner, it is crucial to monitor and understand how both fixed and variable costs impact your business as they determine the price level of your goods and services.

Fixed Cost vs. Variable Cost Graph

Calculating this ratio helps them account for both the increasing revenue as well as increasing production costs, so that the company can continue to grow at a steady pace. For example, if you have 10 units of Product A at a variable cost of $60/unit, and 15 units of Product B at a variable cost of $30/unit, you have two different variable costs — $60 and $30. Your average variable cost crunches these two variable costs down to one manageable figure. Fixed Cost remains constant does not mean that they are not going to change in future, but they tend to be fixed in the short run. Variable costs are important to businesses because they can be used to calculate the break-even point, which is the level of production at which total revenues equal total cost. Knowing the break-even point is crucial for businesses because it tells them how much they need to produce in order to make a profit.

The marginal cost will take into account the total cost of production, including both fixed and variable costs. Since fixed costs are static, however, the weight of fixed costs will decline as production scales up. Variable costs are directly related to the cost of production of goods or services, while fixed costs do not vary with the level of production. Variable costs are commonly designated as COGS, whereas fixed costs are not usually included in COGS. Fluctuations in sales and production levels can affect variable costs if factors such as sales commissions are included in per-unit production costs. Meanwhile, fixed costs must still be paid even if production slows down significantly.

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