“We need someone in-house to do our website.” If you have the money, hiring an employee may be a good idea. Otherwise just pay for what you need when you need it.
“If it’s not in-house, we won’t have control.” As long as you own the domain name (whatever.com, thissite.website, etc.) and you have the passwords, you have control.
“It has to be in-house, or we won’t be able to update it.” You will. It’s the web. It’s in everyone’s house.
“We need our site to do a gazillion things.” That will just cause delay and confusion. But it is true that a site can grow organically into something spectacular. On the other hand, who says you can only have one site?
“We’ll have to work out a fancy spec.” Not necessarily. You can just find a site you like and say, “I want that, but in pink.”
“A website isn’t that important, we can get away with how ours looks.” Or you could raise the bar a bit…
“We need to put together a tender document.” If you have time for that, wow! Expect to pay a lot. 99% of sites should cost well below any reasonable tender threshold.
“We need a website, and an iPhone app, and an Android app.” Why? 99% of the time a properly designed, ‘responsive’ website will do perfectly.
“I could do it myself.” You could indeed, because you’re clever, but is it the cleverest use of your time and headspace?
“We need it to have Ruby on Rails and Angular and Node and…” They sound nice, particularly the Ruby bit. What you actually need is almost always much simpler.
“We need our site at the top of the Google search results.” Don’t we all! A website must be designed with that Google goal in mind, but a great website and great search rankings are two distinct processes. You need the website first.
“We need a designer and a website developer.” Designers often do a great job, but in most cases you just need a website developer who’s got a bit of sense.
“We’ve got a website already, it just needs tweaking.” If it’s more than a few years old it will need more than tweaking. Nonetheless, having an old website is usually helpful.
“Really all we need is a blog.” Probably not. A blog is for life, and it needs frequent feeding. If you want to do occasional writing, that’s a great idea, but it’s not a blog and should be handled differently on a website.
“I can’t afford a website.” Unless you want something tricky, they’re not that expensive. And payments can be staggered.
“Finished!” Not really – a website is usually a dynamic venue, not a static one, and it will grow and change as needs demand. Very rarely, you can create a site and leave it alone for a few years; after that it starts to look dusty, and a while after that it’s visibly creaking, then it’s just falling apart. Some people put a web developer on a small retainer to keep the gears of the site humming.