20+ Years Experience

Specialist Insolvency Practitioners

Licensed Insolvency Practitioners

Insolvency Practitioners Nationwide

What Happens If Your Company Can’t Break Even?

Imagine running a business where you’re constantly striving to cover costs, but never quite making it.

What happens if your company can’t break even, and what can you do about it?

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the ins and outs of breaking even, its importance, and the strategies to overcome break-even challenges.

You’ll also learn about alternative funding options, debt restructuring, company administration, and liquidation processes, as well as best practices for break-even analysis.

Buckle up for an informative journey that could potentially save your business.

Short Summary

  • Understanding and calculating the break-even point is essential for ensuring business success.
  • Financial struggles, operational disruption, and risk of insolvency can result from not breaking even.
  • Strategies to overcome challenges include cost reduction techniques, increasing sales revenue, adjusting pricing strategies & exploring alternative funding options such as factoring or asset-based lending.

Consequences of Not Breaking Even

Breaking even is an essential milestone for any business. Failing to reach this point doesn’t just mean you’re not making a profit; it can lead to dire consequences.

Including financial struggles, disruption in business operations, and the risk of insolvency and closure.

When income from sales fails to cover both fixed and variable costs, businesses can’t generate the profit necessary for sustainability and expansion.

In other words, not breaking even puts your business’s future growth and performance in jeopardy.

Understanding the break-even point is crucial for maintaining a healthy business. To put it simply, the break-even point is the level of sales required to cover all costs, allowing your business to operate without losing money.

Calculating this point helps business owners make informed decisions on pricing, production levels, and cost management, ultimately improving the overall financial situation and paving the way for future growth.

Financial Struggles

Financial difficulties arising from not breaking even can lead to accumulating debt, entering insolvency, and eventually ceasing operations.

Analysing the net profit margin of specific products can help identify the most and least profitable items, allowing you to make informed decisions about which products to continue offering or discontinuing.

Comparing your profit margin data with other businesses in the industry can also help identify areas for improvement and detect profitability trends.

Moreover, when determining their income or salary, business owners should consider personal and business needs, tax implications, and the balance between the need for a steady income and investment into the business.

Impact on Business Operations

Not breaking even can negatively impact your business operations, leading to reduced cash flow, difficulty in meeting obligations, and decreased customer confidence.

Customers may become apprehensive about your company’s ability to fulfil its commitments, resulting in a decline in sales and profits.

Moreover, the potential risk of insolvency and closure associated with not breaking even can have a significant impact on employees, customers, and suppliers of the company.

To avoid these consequences, it’s crucial to understand and address the factors contributing to your inability to break even.

Risk of Insolvency and Closure

If a company is unable to break even, the risk of insolvency and closure becomes a real threat. Insolvency can lead to an inability to pay creditors, potentially resulting in the closure of the business.

To prevent this devastating outcome, it’s strongly advised to obtain professional advice before reaching this stage, as it will provide an understanding of the available options.

Strategies for Overcoming Break-Even Challenges

Fortunately, there are several strategies that can be employed to overcome break-even challenges, helping your business recover and thrive.

Some of these strategies include cost reduction techniques, increasing sales revenue, and adjusting pricing strategies.

Lowering fixed costs can alleviate the strain on expenses with sales revenue and facilitate a business achieving break-even with reduced revenue.

Additionally, calculating turnover can provide valuable insights into the relationship between sales price per unit variable, sales volume, and profit margins, allowing you to make necessary adjustments to your business operations.

Understanding and implementing these strategies can make a significant difference in your business’s ability to break even and generate profits.

In the following sections, we’ll delve deeper into these strategies and explore how they can be applied to your business.

Cost Reduction Techniques

Reducing costs is a crucial aspect of overcoming break-even challenges. This involves regularly reviewing expenses and cutting back on spending, categorizing expenses, and considering both personal and business requirements when making decisions regarding income or salary.

Focusing on variable costs, such as negotiating for reduced costs, exploring lower-priced materials, and assessing more cost-effective shipping alternatives, can help decrease your overall expenses.

Additionally, consider ways to reduce fixed costs, such as obtaining a smaller storefront or investigating subleasing options.

Increasing Sales Revenue

Another vital strategy for overcoming break-even challenges is increasing sales revenue. This can be achieved by optimising pricing,

Which entails evaluating objectives, examining individual customer requirements, and leveraging pricing analytics to pinpoint underperformers and equip sales reps with up-to-date pricing.

Keep in mind that an increase in sales price can lead to a decrease in the volume of sales required, and vice versa.

By using multiple products and increasing your sales and total revenue amount, your business can break even more easily and ultimately generate profits.

Pricing Strategy Adjustments

Adjusting your pricing strategy is essential for understanding the break-even point and setting the right prices for your products or services.

To do this, analyse the variable cost of goods sold, comprehend the variable cost of the structure, and evaluate the pricing of competitors. Consider adjusting the price point, offering discounts, and providing good, better, and best product versions.

Additionally, a penetration pricing strategy may be beneficial for launching with a high volume of sales.

By making these adjustments, you can improve your break-even point and increase your total revenue amount, ensuring the longevity and success of your business.

Alternative Funding Options

If your business is unable to break even, alternative funding options can provide the necessary financial support to keep your business afloat while you implement the strategies discussed earlier.

Some of these alternative financing options include factoring and invoice discounting, as well as multiple products such as asset-based lending.

These funding options can be more flexible and accessible than traditional bank lending, offering a lifeline for businesses in need.

UK Liquidators can also facilitate contact with suitable financiers, ensuring you receive the right support for your business’s unique needs.

Factoring and Invoice Discounting

Factoring and invoice discounting are financial services that provide access to the funds tied up in your unpaid invoices by allowing you to sell them at a discounted rate.

The primary distinction between factoring and invoice discounting is that factoring involves the factor overseeing the credit control and collection processes,

While invoice discounting requires the business itself to handle these activities.

These services can be advantageous for businesses looking to improve cash flow, cover unexpected expenses, or fund a new project.

Asset-Based Lending

Asset-based lending is another alternative financing option that utilizes a company’s assets as security for the loan.

This method allows businesses to access capital based on the value of their assets, such as accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, and real estate.

The benefits of asset-based lending include access to capital, flexibility, and the use of assets as collateral.

However, potential drawbacks include higher interest rates, shorter repayment terms, and the risk of forfeiting assets if the loan is not repaid.

Debt Restructuring and Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs)

Debt restructuring and Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs) are two methods that can help businesses facing financial difficulties.

Debt restructuring involves modifying the terms of existing debt to make it more feasible for the borrower.

On the other hand, a CVA is a formal insolvency procedure that allows an insolvent company to pay creditors over a predetermined period of time,

Usually ranging from one to five years. It is a legally binding contract with the company’s creditors, enabling a portion break-even quantity of its debts to be paid back over time.

Formal vs. Informal Debt Restructuring

Formal debt restructuring entails negotiating with creditors to lower interest rates, prolong repayment terms, or reorganize debt.

Informal debt restructuring, on the other hand, involves renegotiating debt terms with creditors without involving a third-party mediator in a less formal setting.

The primary distinction between the two is that formal debt restructuring necessitates a third-party mediator and is more structured and legally binding than its informal counterpart.

Company Voluntary Arrangements

A CVA is a legally binding agreement that can provide viable businesses with temporary financial relief, enabling them to continue operations and become profitable once again.

The process involves appointing an insolvency practitioner to oversee the company’s operations, safeguard it from legal action, and formulate a plan to revive the business.

If successful, the company may enter into a CVA, seek a buyer, or exit administration through a CVA or Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation. In any case, a CVA can be a valuable tool in helping businesses navigate financial difficulties and emerge stronger.

Company Administration and Liquidation

If a company can’t break even and is facing the risk of insolvency and closure, it may need to consider entering administration or liquidation.

Company administration is a formal insolvency process designed to salvage a company by reorganizing it in order to prevent liquidation.

Liquidation, on the other hand, is the process of disposing of a company’s assets to settle its outstanding obligations.

The primary distinction between the two is that administration seeks to preserve the company, while liquidation seeks to terminate the company.

Company Administration

Entering company administration involves appointing an administrator to manage the company’s affairs, protect it from legal action, and make a plan to rescue the business.

This process can help shield the company from any potential legal action from creditors and can be a more economical option than other insolvency procedures.

The ultimate goal of company administration is to salvage the company, either through a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), finding a buyer, or exiting administration through a CVA or Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation.


Liquidation is the final option for a company that cannot break even and is facing insurmountable financial difficulties.

The process involves winding up the company’s affairs, selling its assets, and distributing the proceeds to creditors.

There are three primary types of liquidation: creditors’ voluntary liquidation, members’ voluntary liquidation, and compulsory liquidation.

The optimal choice depends on the financial status of the company (solvent or insolvent) and the nature of the liquidation (voluntary or involuntary).

Break-Even Analysis Best Practices

Break-even analysis is a powerful tool that can help entrepreneurs develop a pricing strategy that will not only cover costs but also yield a gross profit.

Regularly conducting a break-even analysis is essential to ensure accuracy, plan ahead, and make informed decisions for your business’s growth and success.

In this section, we’ll explore the best practices for break-even analysis, including calculating the break-even point, factors to consider, and regular reviews and updates.

Calculating Break-Even Point

To calculate the break-even point, use the formula: Fixed costs / (Price per unit – Variable cost per unit).

This calculation helps you determine the level of sales required to cover all your costs and generate a profit, allowing you to make informed decisions about pricing, production levels, and cost management.

By understanding the break-even point, you can ensure that your business operates without losing money and set the stage for future growth and profitability.

Factors to Consider

When determining the break-even point, it is important to consider fixed and variable costs, customer demand, the effort required to reach the break-even point, and pricing strategy.

Regularly updating your break-even analysis to account for changes in rent, interest rates on business loans, and fluctuations in suppliers’ prices can help maintain accuracy and ensure your whole business plan stays on track.

By taking these factors into account, you can create a more accurate and comprehensive break-even analysis that will guide your business decisions and set you up for success.

Regular Review and Updates

Regular review and updates of your break-even analysis are crucial for maintaining accuracy and planning for the future.

This involves tracking changes in fixed and variable costs, sales volume, and selling price per unit variable amount, as well as gathering data on these and other factors.

Keeping your break-even analysis up-to-date will ensure that you have a solid understanding of your business’s financial situation and can make the necessary adjustments to stay ahead of the curve.

By staying on top of your break-even analysis, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions that will set your business on the path to success.


In conclusion, understanding the break-even point and its consequences is vital for the success of any business.

By employing strategies such as cost reduction techniques, increasing sales revenue, and adjusting pricing strategies, businesses can overcome break-even challenges and set themselves up for prosperity.

Alternative funding options, debt restructuring, and company administration and liquidation processes can also provide much-needed support for businesses facing financial difficulties.

Through regular review and updates of your break-even analysis, you can ensure accuracy, make informed decisions, and steer your business toward a bright and profitable future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if a business doesn’t break even?

When a business does not break even, it means that they are spending more money than they are bringing in.

This can result in mounting losses and debt, causing many businesses to have to close up shop and be unable to continue operating.

Clearly, breaking even minimum sales is key for any long-term planning of full-term business success.

What causes the company not to break even?

Poorly managed costs can lead to a company not breaking a break even. Excessive overhead, high variable costs, and inadequate pricing can all hinder a company from achieving a breakeven point.

Conclusion: Poorly managed costs and inadequate pricing can cause a company to fail to the break-even point.

Resulting in high overhead and variable costs that have to be overcome before the company can become profitable.

How long does it take for a company to break even?

It typically takes two to three years for a company to break even. Many different factors can influence how quickly a new business is able to become profitable

From the amount of capital invested to the efficiency of the business continuity operations.

Understanding these factors and creating a detailed plan can help a business reach its break-even point faster.

Is it good for a business to break even?

Breaking even can be a positive sign that a business is on the right track. If the business meets its break-even point and continues to experience growth, it can be an indication that the strategies it is using to increase profits are effective.

Thus, breaking even is generally seen as a good indication of limited company directors’ overall business health.

Overall, breaking even can be a positive sign for a business’s future. It is a foundation that allows companies to reduce risk, increase profits, and develop better strategies for success.

By understanding the break-even point, business owners can make informed decisions that will set them up for success in the future.

Information For Company Directors

Here are some other informative articles for company directors in the UK:

Areas We Cover

About Insolvency Practitioner

We are Insolvency Practitioners based in Barking who are dedicated to providing expert solutions for financial distress.

Contact Us