The New York Times published a well-written article regarding the basics of good web site design for small businesses. Successful sites should focus on simple yet compelling copy, answering visitor's questions fast and keeping clutter to a minimum. The advice is sound, easy-to-understand and free. You better take a look.
"If a site does not answer a user’s questions about a business, then you have scored one for the competition. For example, the first thing customers visiting any restaurant’s Web site want to know is when it is open. But often that information can be found only by digging through multiple pages. As a result, “the site fails,” Mr. Nielsen said."