Construction profit margins: Calculating and tracking the growth of your business

Explore calculating and tracking construction profit margins. Understand formulae, factors, benchmarks, and optimization strategies. Gain insights into financial analysis tools and industry best practices for sustainable business growth.

Construction profit margins: Calculating and tracking the growth of your business

Construction profit margins are key metrics for any existing or growing construction business. Tracking and calculating your firm’s profit margin can be the difference between its ultimate success and failure. By doing so, you can ensure you’re on the right track for growth and profitability.

What is profit margin in construction?

Profit margin is a key indicator of a construction company’s financial health, telling you how much profit your company is making for every dollar of revenue. In other words, the higher your profit margin, the more profitable your company is. There are a number of factors that can impact a company’s profit margin, such as the cost of materials, labor costs, and overhead expenses.

Why are construction profit margins important?

A healthy profit margin is essential for a construction company to be able to grow and thrive. For example, did you know that the average gross profit margin of construction companies is upwards of 20%? That single number can tell you a lot about whether you’re managing your construction firm’s finances properly.

Profit margin lets you track the financial health of your company over time while also helping you identify trends in the industry to make decisions about pricing, costs, and investing in human capital.

What is the average profit margin for the construction industry?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as profit margins vary widely from company to company and depend on a number of factors. However, according to industry experts, while the average gross profit margin tends to hover around 20%, the average net profit margin for construction companies is usually between 2% and 10%.

While this may seem like a small range, it’s important to remember that construction is a notoriously low-margin business. With margins being so thin, even a small increase or decrease can have a big impact on your company’s bottom line.

If you’re looking to improve your company’s construction profit margins, there are a number of things you can do, such as reducing costs, increasing prices, or finding new sources of revenue.

How to calculate overhead and profit in construction

Overhead expenses and total profit

To calculate your overhead expenses, add up all of the indirect costs associated with running your construction business. Indirect costs can include things like office rent, advertising, insurance, and taxes. Once you’ve calculated your overhead costs, you can then determine your total profit by subtracting your overhead expenses from your revenue.

Profit margin percentage

A common and simple formula for calculating your profit margin percentage is: 

(Revenue – Expenses) / Revenue * 100

In other words, to calculate profit margin percentage, take your gross profit (revenue minus expenses) and divide it by your revenue. Multiply the result by 100, and this will give you your margin percentage.

For example, if your company had $100,000 in revenue and $80,000 in expenses, your gross profit would be $20,000. Divide that by your revenue ($100,000), multiply the result by 100, and you get a 20% margin.

Growth margin

To calculate your company’s growth margin, you’ll need to track your margins over time. This can be done on a quarterly or annual basis. Once you have your margin percentage for a given period, simply subtract it from the previous period’s margin percentage.

For example, if your company’s margin was 20% in Q1 and 25% in Q2, your growth margin would be 5%.

By tracking margin growth on a quarterly or annual basis, you can see how your company is performing and make comparisons to other companies in the construction industry.

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Tracking construction profit margins

Properly calculating and tracking your company’s profit margin is essential for making informed decisions about the future of your business, as well as for resource planning in construction.

To effectively track profit and overhead in construction, it’s important to monitor progress on a regular basis and be consistent in your measurements. It helps to track, for example, key financial indicators, including gross profit margin, net profit margin, and operating margin.

One way to track margins is through a manual calculation using financial statements. But while it can be helpful in getting a detailed understanding of where your revenue is coming from, it can be a time-consuming process. Plus it leaves plenty of room for human error.

One of the best and most efficient methods for tracking is using a software program to automate the process. There are a number of different programs available, so it’s important to find one that fits the needs of your business. Look for platforms geared specifically towards construction companies. The right software program will help you automatically and seamlessly monitor and calculate profit margins.

No matter how you choose to carry out tracking, profit margin is an important metric to carefully monitor.

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Overseeing your company’s construction profit margins is essential for making informed business decisions. By tracking key financial indicators, you can more effectively strategize ways to help your business grow and thrive, ensuring its long-term health.

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Construction profit margins FAQ

How does the cost of materials influence construction profit margins?

Profit margins in construction are tied to the cost of materials, labor, and other overhead expenses. Materials represent a significant portion of a project’s expenses. Unfortunately, material costs can and do fluctuate which can directly impact profit margins. For example, a shortage in steel could cause an increase in prices which affects downstream project costs. Finding cost-effective material sources or benefiting from a decrease in material costs can improve profit margins considerably.

How can construction companies reduce overhead expenses?

Construction costs impact the bottom line. To reduce overhead expenses, construction companies need to adopt an iterative approach. This could include regularly evaluating new technologies and software that can save time, effort, and money. Seeking to negotiate on rates with supplies to reduce material costs can have a big impact, while outsourcing some job functions may reduce labor costs. No matter the approach, regularly reviewing overhead expenses is a key component of identifying and eliminating unnecessary expenses.

Can software play a role in increasing construction profit margins?

Software technology can have a big impact on profit margins. Using software like construction workforce planning software helps improve efficiency, decrease project slowdowns, and keeps everyone on the same page. There’s nothing worse than paying for idle workers and contractors in construction. Software extends beyond workforce management, too; software can be used for financial analysis, material analysis, project management, and much more.

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Michel Richer

Michel Richer is the Manager of Content and Product Marketing at Bridgit. He started in the construction industry early on with a local restoration company. Michel is driven to propel the construction industry forward by helping to eliminate outdated, ineffective processes.

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