# Margin, Markup, Profit | Differences explained with examples in quantity surveying.

Margin, markup, and profit are three essential concepts in quantity surveying that are often used interchangeably. However, they have different meanings and implications. Understanding the differences between these concepts is critical for quantity surveyors to accurately estimate the cost of a construction project and calculate their profits. In this blog, we will explain the differences between margin, markup, and profit with examples.

Margin

Margin refers to the percentage difference between the cost of goods or services and the price at which they are sold. In other words, it is the percentage of profit made on the cost of goods or services. For example, if a quantity surveyor estimates that a construction project will cost $100,000 and decides to charge a 20% margin, they will sell the project for $120,000. The margin in this case is $20,000, which is 20% of the cost. Margin is typically used to calculate the selling price of goods or services based on a desired profit margin. Margin is also used to compare the profitability of different products or services. A higher margin indicates higher profitability, while a lower margin indicates lower profitability.

Markup

Markup is another term that is often used interchangeably with margin. However, there is a subtle difference between the two. Markup refers to the percentage added to the cost of goods or services to arrive at the selling price. Markup is usually expressed as a percentage of the cost. For example, if a quantity surveyor estimates that a construction project will cost $100,000 and decides to add a 20% markup, they will sell the project for $120,000. The markup in this case is $20,000, which is 20% of the cost.

Markup is typically used to calculate the selling price of goods or services based on a desired profit margin. Markup is also used to compare the profitability of different products or services. A higher markup indicates higher profitability, while a lower markup indicates lower profitability.

Profit

Profit refers to the amount of money left over after all costs and expenses have been deducted from the revenue. Profit is the ultimate goal of any business, including quantity surveying. Profit is usually expressed as a percentage of the revenue. For example, if a quantity surveyor sells a construction project for $120,000 and the total cost of the project is $100,000, the profit is $20,000, which is 20% of the revenue.

Profit is a measure of the success of a business. A higher profit indicates a more successful business, while a lower profit indicates a less successful business. Profit is used to determine the financial health of a business and to make decisions about future investments.

Differences Between Margin, Markup, and Profit

The main difference between margin, markup, and profit is the way they are calculated and their implications. Margin and markup are used to calculate the selling price of goods or services, while profit is the ultimate goal of any business. Margin and markup are expressed as a percentage of the cost, while profit is expressed as a percentage of the revenue. Another difference between margin and markup is that margin is based on the selling price, while markup is based on the cost.

For example, if a quantity surveyor wants to achieve a 20% margin on a construction project that costs $100,000, they will sell the project for $120,000. If the same quantity surveyor wants to achieve a 20% markup on the same project, they will add $20,000 (20% of $100,000) to the cost of the project and sell it for $120,000.

In general, margin is a better measure of profitability than markup because it takes into account the selling price. Markup can be misleading because it does not take into account the selling price, which can vary from one project to another. For example, a project with a higher selling price may have a lower markup but a higher margin, indicating higher profitability.

It is also important to note that margin and markup are not interchangeable, even though they are often used interchangeably. A 20% margin is not the same as a 20% markup, as we have seen in the previous examples. Quantity surveyors should be careful to use the correct terminology and calculation method when discussing profit and pricing.

Examples

Let's look at some examples to further illustrate the differences between margin, markup, and profit. Example 1: A quantity surveyor estimates that a construction project will cost $500,000. They want to achieve a 25% margin on the project. What will be the selling price of the project?

Solution:

Margin = (Selling price - Cost) / Selling price x 100% 25% = (Selling price - $500,000) / Selling price x 100% Solving for Selling price: Selling price = $666,667 The selling price of the project will be $666,667, with a margin of 25%.

Example 2: A quantity surveyor estimates that a construction project will cost $500,000. They want to achieve a 25% markup on the project. What will be the selling price of the project?

Solution:

Markup = (Selling price - Cost) / Cost x 100% 25% = (Selling price - $500,000) / $500,000 x 100% Solving for Selling price: Selling price = $625,000

The selling price of the project will be $625,000, with a markup of 25%.

Example 3: A quantity surveyor sells a construction project for $750,000. The total cost of the project was $600,000. What is the profit on the project?

Solution:

Profit = Revenue - Cost / Revenue x 100% Profit = ($750,000 - $600,000) / $750,000 x 100% Profit = 20% The profit on the project is 20% of the revenue.

Conclusion

Margin, markup, and profit are three essential concepts in quantity surveying. Margin refers to the percentage difference between the cost of goods or services and the price at which they are sold. Markup refers to the percentage added to the cost of goods or services to arrive at the selling price. Profit refers to the amount of money left over after all costs and expenses have been deducted from the revenue. Quantity surveyors should be careful to use the correct terminology and calculation method when discussing profit and pricing. Understanding the differences between margin, markup, and profit is critical for quantity surveyors to accurately estimate the cost of a construction project and calculate their profits.