When you take the plunge and decide to be your own boss, you do so assuming a certain degree of risk. That’s a given.

But the landscape gets a bit more complicated when you have to start weighing risks and their ultimate value for your business.

What constitutes a good risk?

How do you know when you’re putting too much on the line?

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself when you’re making those tough choices.

What’s the Benefit?

The first and most obvious question to ask yourself is:

“What am I looking to get out of this risk?”

Risks can only be calculated when you take into account what the hoped result is.

Whether you’re paying for a marketing placement, hiring someone to set-up equipment maintenance program or overhauling your entire service offering, you need to make sure you’re thinking very clearly about the feasible results.

How many Facebook Likes can you hope to get from that ad campaign?

Will redesigning your website make it easier for customers to purchase your services?

Concrete goals will lead to concrete returns.

Is the Risk Too Much, Too Soon?

Another valuable consideration is to determine whether your risk is “too big”.

Are you turning your entire business model upside down?

If so, then you might be making a big mistake. If your return-on-investment ends up bombing, your entire business could go down with it. A good workaround for this is to come up with incremental ways to take the risk.

So, perhaps, rather than redesigning your whole website, start by revamping a small section of the site to see how your metrics change. Similarly, rather than dumping your whole budget on Facebook ads, try out smaller campaigns.

In fact, Facebook even offers vouchers and promo codes to get you started. Just remember: if the changes seem too big, then the risk is probably too big.

Is The Risk in Response to an Existing Problem?

Similar to the first question, a good thing to consider when taking a risk is if that risk is even needed.

Most times that you make a big change on your website, you do so because your business has an existing problem (not enough sales, not enough Facebook engagement, etc.).

It’s always useful to keep the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” sentiment in mind so that you can avoid taking unnecessary risks.

Putting It All Together

That’s all fine and good, but you might be asking yourself, “How do I apply these considerations to my business?

To answer that question, a case study is in order.

Let’s say you live in New York and you own this website outlining homes for sale in Rye City school district.

The page displays median income data, home listings and other helpful information, however, the design is a bit wordy. In this situation, a good risk to take would be to redesign the page to be more concise and easier to read at-a-glance.

How can we be sure that this risk is worth it? Let’s consider the above questions.

The benefit of making this change will hopefully be better engagement and more clicks on the page. As long as the design modifications are minor and the new click-through rates are monitored, this risk shouldn’t be too much, too soon.

Without the site’s metrics in front of us, we can’t be sure that this business is suffering from an existing problem, but it is safe to assume that testing a cleaner design would be well worth it.

As you can see, we have answered all of the above questions to determine that the risk to redesign the website should be taken. Keep this process in mind next time you are faced with a similar business decision, and you should be able to make these sorts of tough choices with confidence.