A Self-Employed guide to Broadband

The Self-Employed Guide to Broadband

Reliable broadband is essential if you’re self-employed, regardless of location or industry.

Did you know that as of 2024, 4.31 million people are classed as self employed in the UK.

The most common industry for self employment is construction – and even builders need broadband to work and communicate effectively!

Efficient project management, easy client communication, and access to necessary web tools are all made possible by fast broadband.

Whether you’re working from home, an office, or while travelling, your success will rely heavily on fast broadband.

This guide covers everything you need to know about choosing and optimising your broadband deal if you’re self employed, including tips on claiming expenses and selecting the best plans.

Why Broadband Matters for the Self-Employed

As a self-employed professional, your internet connection is more than just a tool for checking emails or browsing social media. It’s the backbone of your business operations. Think about the following situations:

  • Conducting a busy video conference
  • Managing communication with your clients
  • Storing and accessing information in the Cloud
  • Having trustworthy data backup

All of the above wouldn’t be possible without internet – especially fast and reliable internet!

How to Choose a Broadband Deal?

Below, we have covered and explained the most important factors to consider when picking a broadband deal.

As a self employed worker, you have every right to be fussy about which deal powers your business – so take these points into consideration!

If you’re already eager to explore your broadband options, we’ve made it easy to compare deals for free.

Try our deal checker tool and get started today.

Speed and Reliability

The most important factors when selecting a broadband plan are speed and reliability.

Some people might be put off by a higher monthly price, but if this cost pales in comparison to the cost of lost sales or technical disruptions, you’ll soon see how worthwhile every penny is.

Depending on your work requirements, you might need different speeds:

  • Basic Usage: For tasks like emailing and browsing, speeds of 10-25 Mbps are generally sufficient.
  • Moderate Usage: For frequent video calls and streaming, aim for speeds of 25-50 Mbps.
  • High Usage: For heavy data tasks like large file uploads/downloads, or if multiple users are sharing the connection, 100+ Mbps is advisable. If you’re running a large-scale or multi-site workplace, you should look into leased line deals.

Data Allowance

While most broadband plans offer unlimited data, it’s crucial to ensure that your plan does not have any hidden caps or throttling policies that could disrupt your work during peak usage times.

Business vs. Home Broadband

Consider whether a business broadband package might be more suitable for your needs. Business plans often come with added benefits such as:

  • Better Customer Support: Faster response times in case of issues.
  • Static IP Addresses: Useful for running servers or remote access setups.
  • Enhanced Security: Additional layers of protection for sensitive data.

Claiming Broadband Expenses

As a self-employed individual, you can claim a portion of your broadband costs as a business expense.

Here’s how you can do it:

Determining the Claimable Amount

  1. Calculate Work Usage: Estimate the percentage of your broadband usage that is dedicated to business activities. This can be tricky, but keeping a usage log for a few weeks can help. Our expert business team can also help advise and guide you on this.
  2. Apply the Percentage: Multiply your total broadband bill by the percentage of work usage to determine the claimable amount.

For example, if your monthly broadband bill is £40 and you determine that 75% of your usage is for work, you can claim £30 as a business expense.

Record Keeping

Keep detailed records of your broadband bills and how you calculated the work-related usage.

This documentation is essential in case HMRC requests evidence of your claims.

Tips for Optimising Your Broadband Connection

Is your current internet deal not up to scratch? If you’ve noticed lagging and losses, we’ve got a few tips you can try:

  1. Position Your Router Strategically: Place your router in a central location to maximize signal coverage throughout your home.
  2. Use Wired Connections: Where possible, use Ethernet cables for a more stable and faster connection, especially for stationary workstations.
  3. Upgrade Your Equipment: Sometimes, upgrading to a newer router can significantly improve your connection speeds and stability. You might even simply need to update your router, instead of a full upgrade.
  4. Manage Bandwidth Usage: Prioritize work-related applications and limit bandwidth-hogging activities like streaming or large downloads during work hours.

Switching Broadband Providers

If the above tips don’t work, it’s time to consider switching to a better provider.

After all, your Wi-Fi enables your work and high-power means high productivity!

By choosing the right plan, optimising your setup, and understanding how to claim expenses, you can ensure that your internet supports your business needs efficiently.

For further assistance and expert advice on switching broadband providers, please get in touch with our team today.

You can also start searching deals instantly by using our free postcode checking tool.