Greetings, everyone! In another episode of I Hate Numbers, your go-to for demystifying business finance, we unravel the intricate web of business costs and operational gearing.

Understanding Fixed and Variable Costs:

In the business realm, understanding your costs is pivotal for success. We’re diving into two fundamental types: fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs, like the steady beat of a drum, remain constant, encompassing expenses such as salaries and rent. Meanwhile, variable costs fluctuate based on activity, akin to fuel consumption in a car.

Operational Gearing Unveiled:

Now, let’s delve into the core concept of operational gearing—the intricate relationship between fixed and variable costs. This relationship profoundly influences the risk and profitability of a business. The higher the fixed costs in relation to total costs, the higher the operational gearing.

Scenario Analysis – Lower Operational Gearing:

Transitioning into our first scenario, with a 50% fixed cost burden, we’ll explore the impact of a 20% sales fluctuation. Fixed costs stay static, but variable costs adjust accordingly. The result? A substantial profit increase, showcasing the dynamics of lower operational gearing.

Scenario Analysis – Higher Operational Gearing:

Conversely, in our second scenario, where fixed costs make up 60% of the total, we’ll observe a more pronounced impact of a 20% sales fluctuation. The higher operational gearing leads to a more significant profit increase when sales rise but a more substantial decline when sales drop.

Key Takeaways:

So, what’s the key takeaway? High operational gearing can be advantageous during growth but risky in challenging times. Being cost-conscious is crucial, offering a buffer against unexpected downturns.

Tools and Resources:

Furthermore, explore our Numbers Know How site for a free online calculator and other resources, including BudgetWiz. Planning for the future? Dive into our online planning tool with a cash flow planner—your ally in business strategy.


As we wrap up, remember to share this valuable insight with others. Your reviews and comments help expand our community. Until next time, happy calculating, and stay tuned for more business wisdom on “I Hate Numbers.”