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French Market - web design, seo, internet in general
what's the state of the latter
le_gber




msg:499423
 10:43 am on May 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Bonjour tout le monde,

I was wondering if I could have some feedback from people working in France in internet related jobs (from web designers to seo to mom and pops running their own business)...

I am a self-taught french guy (widely WebmasterWorld-taught actually ;)) running a web agency in the UK, and at one point or another I WILL go back to France with everything I learned from WebmasterWorld and the my UK experience.

I have been exploring the different possibilities/options open to me:

  • carrying running a web agency from France (keeping my uk customers)
  • selling my UK business (or at least trying to) and opening a web agency in France
  • opening a SEO company in France and only focus on the SEO side of business
  • opening a French mom and pop business based on the net targetted towards French market
  • opening a French mom and pop business based on the net targetted towards uk/worldwide market

    I'd value any feedback on:

  • how open/developped is the french market (from a web agency point of view and mom and pops)
  • how competitive is the web design line of buisess and seo line of business
  • how aware are people about the net in France (been in the UK for 5 years now - lost tracks of figures)
  • what kind of growth do you see in awareness and development of the French Market(from a web agency point of view and mom and pops)
  • legal requirement of running a french business (web agency or mom and pop) as a one man band to start with
  • what type of literature (paper or web based) do you read to be kept informed of what happend on the french internet scene
  • do you have to relocate in Paris to run a viable web agency (I was hoping to go under the sun - south)?

    Also I noticed that french directories and french sites in general are more willing to advertise adult related content than here in the UK. Is that because there is no competition from non adult sites, or because only the adult related industry has noticed the value/potential of the net, or is it just a stroke of bad luck from me and I was unlucky in my searches?

    Thanks for your help.

    Leo

  •  

    Leosghost




    msg:499424
     10:49 am on May 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Salut....Talk to you later..I'm in Brittany ..used to be in the South ..
    : )

    AndieR




    msg:499425
     9:19 pm on May 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Hi there,

    We're ourselves based in France... and working for the States. I suppose it pretty much answers part of your questions...

    People are still telling me: "I don't want my kids on the net I'd rather have them watch reality TV..."

    The wheather is nicer than in the UK though... :)

    Regards,
    AndieR

    le_gber




    msg:499426
     4:38 pm on Jun 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Salut....Talk to you later..I'm in Brittany ..used to be in the South ..

    S'lut

    Leosghost, did you move to Brittany because you didn't have any work in the South?

    AndieR, how do you overcome the time differences, not being able to go and see you customers? How do you find customers with the distance?

    sorry! here are my questions again

  • how open/developped is the french market (from a web agency point of view and mom and pops)
  • how competitive is the web design line of buisess and seo line of business
  • how aware are people about the net in France (been in the UK for 5 years now - lost tracks of figures)
  • what kind of growth do you see in awareness and development of the French Market(from a web agency point of view and mom and pops)
  • legal requirement of running a french business (web agency or mom and pop) as a one man band to start with
  • what type of literature (paper or web based) do you read to be kept informed of what happend on the french internet scene
  • do you have to relocate in Paris to run a viable web agency (I was hoping to go under the sun - south)?

    Thanks for any answers much appreciated

    Leo

  • Leosghost




    msg:499427
     10:45 am on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Salut ..
    No the reasons for the move were 5 fold...
    .Aging relative 86 who needs someone closer ..
    .Had enough of 55 degree summers and -5 winters ..
    .If I had wanted to live in the maghreb I would have gone to Tunisia..
    .Levels of crime even in rural areas ..
    .Have a son of 10 yrs old ..Dont want him going to school where classmates try to sell him crack at recrea'( this already is the norm in the midi ...frejus, marseille , nice etc ) ...the midi is like LA before the clean up began ...cept in the midi no one will admit there is a problem ..

    le_gber




    msg:499428
     3:55 pm on Jun 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Leosghost,

    When I said south I meant more south west than midi. My south east limit would be "les pyrenees-orientales" my northern limit would be la gironde so anything close to the sea or the mountains between those two points :).

    Any experience in any of the places there? I spent a couple of weeks in St Cyprien near Perpignan it was nice.

    Leo

    Leosghost




    msg:499429
     9:54 am on Jun 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

    whoops, found this thread agian by accident , the auto notifier must be on the blink ...The region you are interested in ..my brother in law lives down there ..but as he's a retired fighter pilot I dont think he's in your line : )....driven thruogh a few times don't really know it too well ..my wife says she had some business contacts there and there is alot of French and incomer ( USA and UK money ) to be picked up ...booming incoming English speaking property buyers market ....

    Larryhat




    msg:499430
     11:38 am on Jun 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

    le_gber:

    How about the wine country north of the western Pyrenees? This gets you away from the cold and the 'Marseille' atmosphere.

    Think of all those varietal wines and cheeses! This sounds like a rich set of unique niche keywords to say the least. With your bilingual abilities, you may have an advantage others there lack .. marketing to English speaking countries. If nothing else, maybe you can sample lots of good wine and cheese.

    Best of luck - Larryhat

    AndieR




    msg:499431
     6:29 pm on Jun 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Hi there!

    >>> AndieR, how do you overcome the time differences, not being able to go and see you customers?

    Well I get up late and work till late in the night. I suppose that's not very exciting as a plan but one gets used to it. Also most of our clients are American and they don't feel not "seeing" me as a problem: we can schedule meetings over the net for instance. The worst is not having DSL in most French areas, therefore you really have to make sure the place you're going to does offer you that...

    >>> How do you find customers with the distance?

    Mostly with snail mail campaigns and email based ones.

    >>> how open/developped is the french market (from a web agency point of view and mom and pops)

    Not very open I'm afraid for a real agency, for "mom and pops" down right closed: most people would still rather spend their Sunday "creating" their small company's website - therefore no great chance for very small structures.

    >>> how competitive is the web design line of business and seo line of business

    SEO is not very developed here, therefore there's still much to be done. Web design is becoming more competitive but you still can practice with medium-high rates. The problem is finding work in France.

    >>> how aware are people about the net in France (been in the UK for 5 years now - lost tracks of figures)

    I think I've read something like 55% of households having the net... I'm not sure the figures are up to date though.

    >>> what kind of growth do you see in awareness and development of the French Market(from a web agency point of view and mom and pops)

    I hope that in the next five years there will really be a break through in France... people are becoming less resistant to it...

    >>> legal requirement of running a french business (web agency or mom and pop) as a one man band to start with

    There is no middle way solution I'm afraid: either you're declared or not. If you are then you have to pay around 2000-3000 euros for different charges per year and per person minimum... This is really the most difficult as when you don't make money you still have to pay... and then there are the taxes at the end of the year... around 30% of your benefits (don't believe those that tell you otherwise).

    >>> what type of literature (paper or web based) do you read to be kept informed of what happend on the french internet scene

    Are you kidding? :) Is there a French based internet scene and I wasn't aware of it?! lol Now more seriously, there is much paper based stuff but not serious enough to really be of use for someone making a living out of it.

    >>> do you have to relocate in Paris to run a viable web agency (I was hoping to go under the sun - south)?

    We are in a small village about 350km south from Paris but then we could afford that because we aren't mainly working for France but if that's the market you wish to go after then you should try a larger city (perhaps not Paris though), such as Lyon or Bordeaux...

    Hope this might have been of some help!

    Regards,
    Andrea

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