Assumption one: it’s just a website, how hard can it be?
Reality: Nothing worth knowing can be learned quickly, so just because someone has a twitter or facebook acount, has read a few articles about web design, and charges next to nothing for their services doesn’t mean your “simple” website will be well-done and generate business.
Assumption two: a simple website should cost around $500
Reality: Good design or programming costs money and $500 will not pay for quality that will generate business.
Assumption three: any design company will be happy to have your business as a client
Reality: Although anybody appreciates new business, many top notch designers are booked months in advance. Your website requirement may not be what that particular designer or design studio specialize in. Be careful when somebody claims he/she does “everything.”
Assumption four: designers/developers are not straightforward and try to sell you fancy “bells and whistles” you don’t actually need
Reality: Of course, as in every industry, there is some small percentage of dishonest people. However, “simple” does not mean “cheap.” In fact, nothing is more complex than simplicity.