Break even Analysis Template

Excel version of the PDF break even analysis is available at the bottom of the page.

To break even means you haven’t made any money or lose any money. It is a calculation to examine your margins for setting your prices when comparing against your cost to produce. Analysing different price levels relating to various levels of demand, an entity uses break-even analysis to determine what level of sales are needed to cover total fixed costs. A demand-side analysis would give a seller greater insight regarding selling capabilities

Break-even analysis is useful in the determination of the level of production or in a targeted desired sales mix. The analysis is for the companies internal use as a metric and calculations are often not required to be disclosed to external sources such as investors, regulators or financial institutions.

Break-even analysis looks at the level of fixed costs relative to the profit earned by each additional unit produced and sold. In general, a company with lower fixed costs will have a lower break-even point of sale. For example, a company with £0 of fixed costs will automatically have broken even upon the sale of the first product assuming variable costs do not exceed sales revenue. However, the accumulation of variable costs will limit the leverage of the company as these expenses are incurred for each item sold.

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The calculation of break-even analysis may be performed using two formulas. First, the total fixed costs are divided the unit contribution margin. In the example above, assume total company fixed costs are £20,000. With a contribution margin of £40, the break-even point is 500 units (£20,000 divided by £40). Upon the sale of 500 units, all fixed costs will be paid for, and the company will report a net profit or loss of £0.

Break even analysis excel version to be edited

Stress At Work

Stress at work can be caused by so many things and sometimes there isn’t a reason, little things add up and cause a snowball effect, to the outside world you have it all but inside you want to be free. Though my blog normally concentrates on templates relating to work for procurement professionals, I have decided to post an emotional piece because we are only human and we get stress at work.

Your wings already exist all you need to do is fly. Work whether if its permanent or temporary is a place that you spend 50% of your day, equal to the same amount if the time that you spend at home with family and friends.  Some things in life are permanent but a job isn’t one of them. If you are feeling tied down to something that you no longer enjoy don’t be afraid to take a risk.  At the same time don’t be reckless, your reputation is important, the most important thing to remember is that you have a choice, don’t let others sway your decisions, come back to your inner self and believe that if you want to fly the nest when your ready you already have what it takes. If your wings need strengthing before you can fly, take the time to nurture yourself. If your line of work is procurement and you want to work with me as your coach to speed up your progress, I can provide procurement coaching. If you prefer a lifestyle coach click here

Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations. Life is one big road trip, sometimes you can be on a road seemingly never ending with the same grey scenery. The next day the sun’s out and you have arrived at a beautiful destination. Take one day at a time because you never know where you might end up!

ok, that’s a slight exaggeration but with good planning, you can do a lot more. I say to my husband I am retiring at 60 even though the official retirement age is a lot higher. I want to have my mortgage paid off and living a free life. To hell with it I want to live freely before I’m 60. I don’t want to wait until I’m old before I have my freedom, what if I get ill and die next year or even next month. I’m willing to earn less but I’m not willing to compromise on my rates charged, therefore I will work earn a lot but work less! The perfect recipe for a good life. My skills for hire are only suitable for those who need procurement support so if you need a consultant or a retainer get in touch!  If you want something you need to plan for it, life isn’t a bed of roses where you get everything free unless you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. Take chances, get your head into gear and save, save, save. Earning money is important, spending it is delightful but saving it allows you to what you want. You will know when that moment hits you when you want to make that decision to what you want, even if it flies in the face of convention.

Finally, every day is a second chance. You might think you’ve blown it but people are forgiving if you are genuine. Everyone makes mistakes some little and some big, the main thing is to take ownership of your decisions and learn from your mistakes.

Stress at work is something that can happen to any of us and strike when least expected.  You are not just one job, you are the sum of all of your achievements.  Find a way to re-connect with yourself and one day everything will fall into place!

SWOT Analysis

Simple SWOT Analysis for Procurement Professionals

Company Name
Business Planning Checklist
Using the Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat (SWOT) analysis framework, develop a checklist of the key activities that need to be performed when preparing a formal business plan in the table, below.
Activity Owner Completion Date
Strengths: Define the company’s current mission statement.
Strengths: Identify market segments in which the company will participate by conducting primary and secondary market research.
Strengths: Identify the company’s value proposition and how it will differentiate itself within the marketplace.
Weaknesses: Identify any barriers to market entry (for example, capital requirements, technical barriers, patents, and process barriers) that the company needs to overcome.
Weaknesses: Identify any risks inherent to the organisation that need to be mitigated so that the company can realise the business plan.
Opportunities: Identify areas where the current market is underserved that provide an opportunity for the company.
Opportunities: Identify any key processes, intellectual capital, or other resources that the company can use to its advantage in the marketplace.
Threats: Identify primary competitors, and then analyse competitor performance by using all available data and additional data that can be verified.
Threats: Identify secondary and potential future competitors that might affect the business plan.
Threats: Develop strategies for mitigating primary and secondary competitive threats.
<Add additional key business plan activity.>
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Using a SWOT analysis is a powerful tool that is simple to use but effective in helping you understand your strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats. When you take time to understand the weakness and threats you are taking the first steps to actively manage and reduce threats. Don’t be caught off-guard because you never know when something unexpected might happen, business is volatile and risks can crop up when least expected.

If you like the SWOT Analysis you might also like some other templates

RFI IT Software

Bullet points on what to include when issuing an RFI for IT Software

Briefing Document: A document which briefly summarises the project objectives, timescales, and the RFI/RFP process. Include a table of key dates, and be sure to include information about what you expect the supplier to include in their response.

  • Architectural Diagram(s): If relevant, it can be beneficial to include a diagram which summarises your current architectural landscape. This can help the vendor to understand the key systems that they will need to integrate with.
  • Response document: This should be a document which the vendor completes and returns. It can be useful to use a spreadsheet, with different worksheets for different areas.

o High-Level Requirements: A worksheet which contains the most significant high-level requirements for the project, along with space for the vendor to indicate how their solution would meet the requirement.

o Architecture: Questions relating to the architecture of the solution.

o Infrastructure: Questions relating to the infrastructure that the solution runs on.

o Licensing: Questions relating to the type of licensing agreements.

o Support Arrangements: What level of support is available, and how is it provided?

o Supplier/provider Company: Questions relating to the company, e.g. number of staff, locations etc. Are they capable of providing you with the level of support you need?

You may also want to consider holding a teleconference or meeting with each vendor shortly after they receive the RFI pack. This will provide them with the opportunity to raise any questions or concerns and will enable you to explain the project and RFI/RFP process in more detail. You will need to give the vendor a reasonable time to complete the RFI, to ensure that you get a quality response.

If you require a more generic RFI document you might like the RFI template.

Social Media RFP

Note this social media template RFP is from Hootsuite

[Your company name]

[Website] [Address] [Contact person’s email/phone number] [Project Name]


Project introduction

[Your company name], a [description of your business], is in need of [description of work/project]. We are accepting proposals in response to this request for proposal (RFP).

Project purpose and description

The purpose of this project is to [explain in detail why your company needs the work done].

This project requires [outline the duties and responsibilities associated with the project]. Our goals are to [i.e. build brand awareness, gain new social media followers, etc. List however many you have]:

  1. [Goal 1]
  2. [Goal 2]
  3. [Goal 3]

Proposal guidelines

In order to be considered for [project name], all bidding agencies must [list the requirements that each responding proposal must address, i.e. budget, timelines, and submission due date]:

    • Include a price proposal for the work, which should be no more than [dollar amount]
    • Outline a project timeline, including details such as key milestones and deliverables
    • Submit the application no later than [proposal due date]

Bidder qualifications

In order to be considered for [project name], all bidding agencies must [list the criteria that must be met in order for a proposal to be considered, i.e. agency experience and history, information on agency size, organizational charts, executive background, etc.]:

  • Have training in social media marketing and show certification [Hootsuite’s social marketing education and certificate program, for example]
  • Reference and outline relevant work/project experience in social media marketing
  • Provide a list of all personnel who will be working on the project—include resumes for each individual


[Outline here information about the timeline for the RFP process as well as the project itself—known deadlines, milestones, and potential roadblocks.]

Request for proposal timeline

Proposals in response to this RFP are due no later than [date].

Evaluation of proposals will be conducted from [date] until [date]. We will notify bidders during this time if any information or discussions are needed.

The winning proposal will be chosen no later than [date].

Upon notification, the contract negotiation with the winning bidder will begin. Contract negotiations will be completed by [date].

Notifications to bidders who were not selected will be completed by [date].

Project timeline

Project initiation phase must be completed by [date].

Project planning phase must be completed by [date]. Project planning phase will determine the timeline/schedule for the remaining phases of the project.

Proposal evaluation

[Your company name] will rate each application based on the following factors [in as much detail as possible, list the criteria that will be measured and describe what is suitable for each criteria]:

  • Relevant training/work experience [detail minimum requirement]
  • Samples of past work [explain how you would like this delivered]
  • Cost vs. value: Bidding agencies will be evaluated on the cost of their proposals based on the outlined scope of work

You might also like a generic RFP template

What Is Commissioning & How Is It Different to Procurement?

A brief introduction to Commissioning and Procurement

Commissioning is buying services for the public rather than an organisation, it is a defined approach to planning and resourcing public services.

Cabinet Office 2011 describes it as The cycle of assessing the needs of the people in an area, designing and then achieving appropriate outcomes. The service may be delivered by the public, private or civil society sectors.

Procurement is not commissioning. In this instance procurement is an element and specific part of the commissioning process.

i,e the procurement process will help appoint a supplier to carry out services

negotiate the best deal to ensure value for money

Monitor contract performance to ensure that it’s running effectively

Commissioning is useful when:

  •  Competition exists and suppliers want to provide their services
  • There is a compelling need for change
  • Change needs to be managed and should not be left to market forces

A procurement exercise to acquire goods and services is a key part in securing local services. Procurement strategy is driven by intelligence gathered in a commissioning strategy and can support in the following ways:

  • Invitation to Tender
  • Develop a robust SLA
  • Appoint a supplier to manage grants
  • Appoint voluntary organisations to do outreach work
  • Set up framework contracts to provide services for individuals at fixed rates

Writing a strategy

  1. Describe how you are going to effect change to meet the needs of the population
  2. Specify the outcome, the desired results
  3. Define the output
  4. Agree on ways of working
  5. Agree on inputs and resources required to deliver
  6. Write a business case
  7. Undertake a cost-benefit appraisal
  8. Write a market position statement to bring together data from the joint strategic needs assessment,  strategies, market, customer surveys into a single document.

This is a brief introduction on how commissioning differs from procurement if you need more information the Institute of Public Care is a good starting point.

Material Change to Specification Is It Dangerous?

What happens if you change your specification and its a material change after the tender has been issued?

What happens if our requirements change during the course of a procurement?

Any change to the specification must not be a material change.

The acid test is would a supplier who made a decision not to submit a tender or an expression of interest do so had the proposed change been in the tender at the beginning? If the answer is yes then this is classified as a material change. In this scenario, the best option is to stop the procurement and start again with the new requirement included.

Let’s review whats allowed in The Public Regulations 2015 and  some case law (National Savings & Investments (NS&I) and Atos IT Services Limited (Atos) ) on Material change

Regulation 72(1)(e) (non-substantial variation) of PCR 2015 states that

“Contracts and framework agreements may be modified without a new procurement procedure in accordance with this Part in any of the following cases:

…(e) where the modifications, irrespective of their value, are not substantial within the meaning of paragraph 8”. Regulation 72(8) states that, inter alia, “a modification of a contract or framework agreement during its term shall be considered substantial for the purposes of paragraph 1(e) where… (d) the modification extends the scope of the contract or framework agreement considerably”.

On application of Regulations 72(1)(e) and 72(8) to the facts of the case, the court found that Edenred’s argument that the amendments to the Contract included services which were not originally contemplated and which amounted to a material change did not satisfy the requirements of Regulation 72(8). This was on the basis that:

  • the OJEU Notice set out the intention to expand the B2B Services up to a maximum value of £2bn
  • the advertised contract and related procurement documents envisaged and catered for an expansion of the services as was being contemplated and further stated that the winner of that contract (namely Atos) should be capable of providing such additional services in the future
  • the original procurement process and ultimately the contract awarded to Atos in 2013 was unchallenged, and
  • “contract documents” should include reference to all tender documents, which included the OJEU Notice, where the potential expansion of services was unequivocally set out.

The court also applied Regulation 72(1)(a) which states that

“where the modifications, irrespective of their monetary value, have been provided for in the initial procurement documents in clear, precise and unequivocal review clauses, which may include price revision clauses or options, provided that such clauses (i) state the scope and nature of the possible modifications or options as well as the conditions under which they may be used, and (ii) do not provide for modifications or options that would alter the overall nature of the contract or framework agreement…”.

The Supreme Court held that the change provisions in the Contract were sufficiently clear to meet these criterion, namely that they restricted the additional services to the B2B Services outlined in the OJEU Notice and also set out some guiding principles for the inclusion of the new services in the Contract so as to restrict any increase in Atos’s profit margin and to prohibit changes to risk allocation under the Contract. This, in turn, satisfied Regulation 72(8)(c) in relation to a change in the “economic balance” of the parties under the Contract.

Can contracting authorities protect themselves from a challenge for material change by including all potential future changes and additional services which may be required in the OJEU Notice?



Contracting Authority Public Sector In-House Bids

If you are a Contracting Authority should you consider in-house bids?

The first thing to consider is whether if you are allowed to submit a bid. Your in-house team must be a separate entity by forming a company or legal entity that can enter into a contract with the contracting authority. The in-house bid has an unfair advantage because it would be relying on the contracting authorities premises, and assets etc.

An authority could use a tender to help it decide whether if it wanted a make or buy solution. The internal bid would be for the make solution, however, the authority would need to make it clear in the tender instructions that there is an option to abandon the tender process and not award the contract.

Suppliers in the market may not want to enter a bid if there is a chance that the tender could be scrapped. They may also be wary about sharing commercial know-how and view the tender exercise as a fishing exercise for ideas generation rather than genuine desire to award a contract.

This could send the wrong message to the market may be that the authority is not serious about outsourcing its requirement and the contracting authority should take into account their reputation requirements. Next time they may find that they have fewer suppliers bidding. Some suppliers might be put off which means there is a risk that the best solutions are not being put forward

Defending a challenge might be more tricky. Conflict of interest will need to be de-risked.

Are there any advantages?

An in-house team operating as a separate entity know the culture and systems in place at the Authority and may be best placed to deliver a cost effective solution.

In RMP v Brent, the London Borough, together with several similar boroughs, clubbled to together to create a mutual insurance company called London Authorities Mutual Limited (“LAML”), a private company limited by guarantee established and wholly owned by the local authorities concerned. Earlier, Brent had also commenced a procurement process inviting bids from insurance providers, of which RMP was one. When the project to establish LAML became a reality, Brent terminated the procurement process it had been running and entered into a contract directly with LAML with no further competition. RMP brought a claim arguing that this contract should have been opened up to competition.

Brent had also started a procurement process inviting bids from insurance providers. RMP was one of the bidders. They then stopped the procurement process.

A claim was brought by RMP because there was no competition in scrapping the procurement and awarding to the mutual instead. (part-in house) relying on the  exemption in the Teckal case aka the  contracting authority has set up a wholly-owned service provider:

  •  exercises a degree of control similar to that which it would have over one of its own departments (the “control” test); and
  • the service provider carries out the essential part of its business with the owner contracting authority/ies (the “function” test).

The Court of Appeal in 2009 upheld RMPs claim that the Teckal exemption did not apply, on the grounds that the necessary degree of control was not established.

However, the Supreme Court has overturned the decision of the lower courts. The key points were:

  • that there was always the possibility of 75% of the local authorities “directing” the company via the special resolution procedure.
  • the fact that a local authority could not vote in relation to discussion of its own insurance claim did not automatically signify that that local authority did not have the necessary degree of control, in the round and jointly with the other local authority shareholders; and
  • the fact that there were two independent directors was not fatal to the control test either, particularly as this is now a requirement of the FSA.

The purpose of the procurement rules, it said, is to preserve competition and prevent unfair discrimination against bidders. Contracting Authorities can choose to do work in-house if they choose to do so. Genuine cooperation is allowed.




In the 1970s Boston Consulting Group developed The BCG Box as a method for assessing the value of investments in a company’s portfolio.

Cash Cows

High market share but low growth rate. They don’t cost much but yield high returns. Companies should milk them for all they are worth!


High market share and high growth rate but devour money. The aim is to convert stars into cash cows. Invest wisely!

Question Marks

High growth potential but a low share of the market. In the right circumstances, they can be turned into stars. It’s a tough decision on growing this quadrant!


Business units with a low share in a saturated market. Dogs should be held onto only if they have a value other than a financial one. e.g. vanity project!

Consider supplier perception and where you sit on the BCG box. Useful questions to ask, are you part of their top 10 suppliers or are you viewed as a low-income client but strategically important to be linked with?

BCG reckons one of the biggest challenges in procurement is working with a supplier that has no competitors. How can you beat an unbeatable supplier to remain competitive and reduce your procurement costs?

Use contract management to improve the supplier relationship. How can you get a win-win situation, no one stays on top forever, there may be no competition now but that doesn’t mean it will always remain that way.  Reason with the supplier to level the playing field.

Try decoupling or seeking new arrangements. If the supplier feels like they have a monopoly and treat you unfairly, try altering the demand by reducing volume, going elsewhere where you can or become a bigger customer by joining a consortium or buying group to become their No.1 customer. (or as close as possible)

Give smaller players a chance and develop the market to increase competition


RFI Creative Agency

Note the content below is copyright by IPA and is added here to help users if they need an RFI template for creative services.


                                                                                                     REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

[Insert organisation name]

 Reference:  xxx


Standardising RFI documents – a joint initiative



Agencies spend considerable time completing RFI (Request for Information) documents when pitching for new client business, each RFI being in a different format but mostly requiring similar levels of information. Clients (advertisers/marketers) often have no starting point for development of RFI documents, hence the large number of different formats in evidence and frequently seek guidance/or advice from ISBA on the type of questions to include.

Consequently the main trade bodies representing both clients and agencies in the UK (ISBA, IPA, DMA, MCCA and PRCA) decided to collaborate and help the industry by creating a jointly endorsed RFI template that would be a good starting point for clients and a recognisable standard form for agencies to respond to.

The main objective for the template is to reduce the time spent by clients and agencies alike in creating and completing RFI documents, allowing more time to focus on subsequent stages of any selection process.

All parties recognised that the ever growing complexity of communications needs and hence the agency market place has resulted in the imperative for a more flexible RFI, something which can be easily adapted to tailor a specific advertisers business requirements. We have therefore made this template available in a word format so that it can be amended where/when appropriate, but keeping to a standard format.

In the next section there are more detailed instructions on how to best make use of this RFI document.

All parties commend this new standard RFI.

It is anticipated that the content will be reviewed annually for relevance. If you have any comments on the template please feedback those comments to your relevant association (contact details below).

ISBA                                                     IPA                                                       DMA

Langham House                                    44 Belgrave Square                               DMA House

1b Portland Place                                  London                                                 70 Margaret Street

London                                                 SW1X 8QS                                           London

T: 020 7291 9020                                   T. 020 7235 7020                                   W1W 8SS

F: 020 7291 9030                                   F. 020 7245 9904                                   T. 020 7291 3300                                               F. 020 7323 4426



MCCA                                                   PRCA

4 New Quebec Street                                           Willow House
London                                     1st Floor

W1H 7RF                                                              17-23 Willow Place

  1. 020 7535 3550 London
    F. 020 7535 3551 SW1P 1JH                         T. 020 7233 6026

  1. 020 7828 4797


Instructions and Background


Before sending this RFI to your selected agencies you will need to provide some brief background on why you are reviewing and the scope of the business to ensure that you get pertinent information returned by the agencies, please find and complete the sections listed below. 

Background details to be completed by the client for this RFI  

  • Background on the scope of this RFI e.g. why you are reviewing, the type of agency you are looking to appoint
  • Objectives – what are you looking to achieve through the process
  • Scope of work e.g. Creative services, DM, Digital, PR or Media
  • Regions covered e.g. UK only, Pan-Europe, Global, EMEA
  • conflicts: List the specific competitor brands that would preclude associated agencies from this RFI
  • Budgets for this business (£) with as much context as possible i.e. including/excluding media, production etc
  • Timings: when to have this RFI completed by, client contact name, what are the next steps e.g. chemistry meetings, pitch date etc.

Additionally you (the client) are also required to complete some of the areas within the RFI document see front page and page 5 highlighted in Yellow. Once complete do not forget to remove the colour coding before passing on to the agencies.

Name of organisation


Registered address


Website address


Contact name
(Name & job title of person handling this RFI for the Agency)
Telephone number/mobile number (inc International/National code)


Email address


Fax number (inc International/National code)


Principle Office Address
(If different to registered address)
Companies House registration number


Year of registration



Please explain in full details of ownership of agency & affiliations
Where do you have offices that are relevant to this opportunity (see client brief)


What are your core business competencies?
(Brief statement of what your organisation does – 100 words max)




3.  FINANCIAL INFORMATION (Published Accounts)
TURNOVER AND PROFIT Year ending in 200_ Year ending in 200_ Year ending in 200_


£ £ £
Operating Profit


£ £ £
Additional notes or explanation of accounts


Please state if you cannot supply the above financial information as a result of the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
If you cannot supply the above financial information, Please provide us with other indications of financial health and scale (i.e. bank statement, parent company letter of comfort etc)
What is your organisation’s preferred structure / method of remuneration?
(E.g. project v’s retainer, payment by results, mark up, etc.) 
What currency does your agency trade in?




Please confirm the financial cap per claim of your agency’s Professional Indemnity Insurance?
Are you a member of any trade bodies?

(Please state which ones))


Do you have any of the following policies? (Answer Y  or N for each)



Quality Management
Disaster Recovery
Equality and Diversity
Social and Corporate Responsibility
Health and Safety













Other (list)



Please feel free to add any of the above policies as appendices to your submission



WARNING: Only divulge information with the expressed consent of the client, or information not covered by confidentiality agreements with clients.



CLIENT PROFILE                           Client Name YEARS HELD
Please list your top five clients.
(And give the number of years you’ve held the account)  
Please give brief details of what you do on each piece of business by discipline.
(E.g. business to consumer, business to business, integrated, advertising, direct marketing, digital, media, PR, etc.)


Client 2:
Client 3:
Client 4:
Client 5:
Do you currently or have you ever provided any services to (Insert Brand Name)? If so please describe the products/services offered


Please show how the following industry disciplines split as a percentage of your annual income (please provide estimates only) for all of the following:


Advertising (brand) Design
TV % Corporate %
Cinema % Packaging %
Radio % Retail %
Outdoor % Graphic %
Press % Branding %
Online %
Ambient %
Direct Marketing/Integrated Media
Direct mail % Planning
TV % TV %
Radio % Print %
Press % Outdoor %
Door drops % Digital %
Inserts % Buying
Sales promotion % TV %
POS % Print %
Affinity marketing % Outdoor %
Field marketing % Digital %
Telemarketing %
E-marketing %
Database Marketing %
Live Brand Experience %
Digital PR
Email % Corporate %
Mobile % Consumer %
Online advertising % Events %
Social media % Experiential %
Viral % Trade %
Web design % Crisis %
Web build % Celebrity %
Search % Lobbying/Public Affairs %
Affiliate networks % B2B/Trade %


Please detail the current mix of business as a percentage of your annual turnover.
Business to Business                 %
Business to Consumer                 %
Not for profit                 %
Total               100%
Do you subcontract work to 3rd parties?  If so, please give details here:


Please list any account wins or losses in the last 12 months .




WARNING: Only divulge information with the expressed consent of the employee.


Agency Experience

Please detail any recent (last 3 years) sector experience or Target Audience experience that is relevant to this brief e.g. client and brief description of the work undertaken for each brand.

(50 words per client)
(When did you work with them)
Key People Experience
(50 words per client)



Please complete the Non Disclosure Agreement attached at Appendix A

Please provide any additional information to support your submission