Whether you are a one-man band or larger establishment a website is an important part of your marketing activity. While you are out working, someone who is interested in your services can view your details online. So think of it as an advert running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Think one step ahead for your enterprise in France. People move away, word of mouth could dry up. You may move.
More and more people are looking for products and services online and will actively look to the web for information. If your advert has been seen in a local magazine more often than not a potential customer will want to make further enquiries and visit a website. It helps build confidence and credibility. A visitor can see what you do, where you do it, and testimonials or images of work that you have carried out. It is also a good place to share your siret number and any insurances related to your line of work. I often hear that customers have chosen a particular service or trade purely because of the fact that they can look at a website, see pictures and make direct contact and ask questions.
It does not have to be expensive to have a web presence. In previous years you would have paid a small fortune for a website to be built and then some for search engine optimisation. Today, you are well advised to work with a web builder who can incorporate many facilities into your website and help with your search engine optimisation. You don't need to be on page one, what you do need is the ability to connect with your potential customer. There are a number of user friendly web building services that you can use yourself and many provide you with a domain and host for you. Sites like weebly.com or wix.com to name 2 that I have experience with enables you to build your own site in an hour and launch for less than $40. You can update your own pages as frequently as you like, add pictures, contact us details and social media links.
Many expats businesses in France rely on custom from expat communities. If your work is derived from the French community as well, then there are legalities that you will need to be mindful of in terms of having a French page at least, along with an understanding of collecting 'cookies'. A good site to look at [please note it is in French] is http://www.site-internet-qualite.fr/les-mentions-legales.html.
If your site allows people to make contact with you and you retain their information you will be required to register with CNIL. More information can be found at this French site http://www.cnil.fr/vos-obligations/vos-obligations/