I came across an excellent article earlier on Smashing Magazine (a blog dedicated to graphic and web design), dealing with the principle of 'designer myopia', seemingly common amongst web designers these days. It discusses how those who are close to a subject often observe it in too much detail, and easily get hung up on those details without seeing the full picture.
There's a whole subset of designers who design simply for other designers, and when their target audience is the general public, that can be quite problematic.
I think what the article really underlines though is that it's far too easy to get too close to your your business, and that goes for everyone from plumbers to beauticians. A problem we often come across amongst clients is that they don't know how to talk to their audience. They see things from their point of view and assume that potential customers would also read and interact with them in the same way. This is not true, and the problem with this type of marketing is that it usually does a better job of alienating potential customers than acquiring them.
So how to you sort this out? The first thing you need to do is to put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer. Think about why you might visit a company's website. What sort of information might you want to find and how easy could it be to find? You may arrive at a furniture manufacturer's website, for example, interested in buying a new coffee table. But if the coffee tables are buried within 6 layers of navigation, you'd likely be put off. The same goes for writing copy on your website. Don't belt out reams and reams of "We are xx and we do xx" and "we have been doing xx for xx" on every single page - focus on answering the questions behind the visit - why are they there and what are they there for?
You should also position yourself as someone who can solve problems, not simply as someone who offers a service. People gravitate towards those who can help them; those who create a genuine need for their services. For example, if you were a furniture repairer, you could go with "table looking scratched and worn? get in touch now!" It's all about promoting a need, and then encouraging people to pick up the phone.