Figuring a Show's Profit Margin


[A] Time Required (for show itself):

How many days does the show run = ________

Number of days required for travel to and from the show location (including packing van, setup, unpacking van, doing the show paperwork) = ________

Total days required = ________ (subtotal #1)


[B] Misc Show Expenses:

Show booth & jury fees = $________
Electricity at booth = $________
Total food cost = $________ (for travel & days at show)
Total motel cost = $________
Gas and oil = $________
Misc travel [tolls, parking] = $________
Advertising in show paper = $________
Postage for show cards mailed in advance = $________
Any other misc. expenses = $________

Add these together to get show expenses: $________ (subtotal #2)


[C] Next, determine your income:

Total sales at show = $________ (subtotal #3)

From #3, subtract #2 (subtotal above): $_______ less $_______ = $_______ (subtotal #4)

Sales tax collected on total sales amount:
$________ x 0.0___% = $________ sales tax collected

Amount of credit card sales = $________

Charge card fees to be deducted by your bank for any credit cards you accepted:
$________ x _____% = $________

Add the sales tax amount and the credit card fee together: $________

Now subtract this total from #4:
(#4)$________ - $________ = $________ (Subtotal #5)


[D] Cost of Materials:

What is the approximate percentage $$ cost of the materials/tools, etc to produce this much inventory: 5%?  8%?  10%??   _____%

[Note: when you determine this figure for yourself, it is better to use a higher percentage rather than a lower number, as there are always misc. expenses that are hard to track]

So, how much was the cost of the materials that you used to make your estimated sales? To get this figure:

Multiply your total sales (subtotal #3) by your estimated materials cost percentage:
(#3)$________ x ____% = $________ cost of materials (subtotal #6)

Now from subtotal #5, subtract the #6 amount: $______ less $______ = $______ (subtotal #7)

This $$ figure is very close to the amount you cleared at this show. However to get the actual figure you must also take into consideration any additional expenses such as insurances, utilities, etc.


[E] Time Required (in studio):

Finally, let's get our time worked out in more detail:

What is the retail $$ value of the inventory that you can create in an average day: $________

Divide the total sales (subtotal #3) by this $$ amount that you can create each day:
(for example, $2000 in sales divided by $500 per day == 4 days)

(#3)$________ divided by $________ = _____ days in studio to make the inventory which you sold at this one show.

Now add to this the number of days it took to do the show (subtotal #1 at top):
_____(in studio) plus _____(days for show) = ______ (subtotal #8)


[F] Your income per day & per hour for this show:

Divide subtotal #7 by the total number of days required for the show (#8):

(#7)$________ divided by (#8)_____ days = $________ per day (subtotal #9)

This figure is your approximate daily wage as it relates to this one show.

Next you need to determine the average number of HOURS each day that you put in at your studio, and also the average amount of time per day required for the show itself (including driving, setup, exhibiting, paperwork, etc) -- this will be a rough estimate:

  Average number of hours per day in the studio to make the show inventory: _____hrs
  Average number of hours per day devoted to the show (driving, exhibiting, etc): _____hrs
  Add those two together and divide by 2 == _____hrs/day (subtotal #10)
 (for example, you spent 12 hrs per day in the studio and 10 hrs per day at the show, for an average of 11 hrs/day).

Finally, divide subtotal #9 by #10:

(#9)$________ per day divided by (#10) _____ hours per day == $________ per hour.

This final figure is your approximate hourly wage as it relates to this one show. But again, as mentioned above, it does NOT take into consideration the cost of studio utilities, insurances, payments to helpers (etc), so to be truly accurate the actual cleared income would need to be adjusted somewhat lower.

Keep this record with your show slides, so next year you can use the data for reference when making the decision about whether or not it is worthwhile to re-apply.