"It's marginal"....



"It's marginal" is a comment quite often heard in business, especially around decision making. A margin is the edge of something and many decisions are a close call - they're not usually that clear cut or a "no brainer".

Margin as difference is another word for profit: gross and net margin. It's also a very useful idea in a more general sense as it draws our attention to the fact that a lot important things happen in that narrow strip of activity, the next thing we do. Once all the costs have been paid and all the historic revenues booked, there's a basic decision to be made about future steps - should we do more of this? That's why, as all students of economics know, a firm maximises total profit when marginal cost equals marginal revenue (MC=MR).

Going back to the narrow, there's a lot of discussion about "marginal gains" in business and sport. The idea is that, what really make a difference are the many small things that managers can identify and improve on, hopefully at minimal cost. Almost the same as the "easy wins" or "low hanging fruit", but maybe not always so obvious.

Margin - an interesting idea and a focus for action.








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