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Opportunity Cost Defined

Opportunity cost is a concept in business that refers to the value of the best alternative forgone in order to pursue a certain action or decision. It is a crucial element to consider when evaluating the benefits and drawbacks of various options, particularly in business.

For example, if a company chooses to invest in a new project, the opportunity cost is the potential revenue that could have been generated if the company had instead invested in a different project or opportunity. This could include lost profits, expenses, or other opportunities that were passed up in order to pursue the chosen course of action.

Calculating opportunity cost can be complex, as it requires a thorough analysis of all available options and the potential outcomes of each decision. However, it is a critical tool for decision-making in business and can help companies make more informed choices about where to invest their time, resources, and capital.

Calculating Opportunity Cost

Calculating opportunity cost is something that is often considered part of the cost-benefit analysis process that businesses use to evaluate priorities and support decision-making. 

Every business decision is analyzed by looking at what is gained and what is lost. By understanding what is given up by looking past a possible option, a business can get a better representation of what the value of that option is and how it compared to another. With today's technology offerings, opportunity costs can be calculated easily with a system like NetSuite.

In order to calculate an accurate opportunity cost, access to live and accurate financial data is necessary. A cloud-based system like NetSuite helps streamline the data collection process by doing just that, which enables decision-makers to come up with an opportunity cost much quicker so that decisions can be made more efficiently.

Opportunity Cost = Return on Option Not Chosen - Return on Option Chosen

Ultimately, understanding opportunity cost can help businesses optimize their operations, improve their financial performance, and stay competitive in today's fast-paced economy. By weighing the pros and cons of different decisions and considering the opportunity cost of each option, companies can make more strategic and informed choices that drive success and growth over the long term.

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