Business As Usual (BAU)

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by Syed Balkhi Founder of WPBeginner

Table of Contents

What is Business As Usual (BAU)?

Business As Usual (BAU) is the normal activities of a business that are necessary to maintain its operations. In other words, it’s repetitive tasks that keep a company running.

It includes customer service, accounting, maintenance, stock management, and more. An example of BAU in customer service is responding to customer queries and resolving issues. 

These activities ensure that customers are satisfied and the company is providing a good service. And it also prevents a build-up of customer help tickets and negative reviews, which can affect a company’s brand image.

Another example is the work a production team does, which can involve following strict quality control processes, managing stock, and responding to customer orders. The important thing to remember is that it is the everyday work that the business has to do in order for it to function.

Difference Between a Project and BAU

A project is a short-term endeavor with specific goals. It’s important to understand the difference between BAU and projects for managing operations within an organization. Here are the most important differences between them:

  • Projects are generally temporary ventures. They have a specific start and end date. Unlike BAU activities, they are not ongoing throughout a business’s lifetime.
  • They have clearly defined objectives and limited resources like people, equipment, or materials. While BAU is continual and does not necessarily have any set goal apart from continuing operations.
  • Projects may disrupt ‘business as usual’ for several employees as they need to redirect their time and effort into a new endeavor. BAU activities do not need additional external resources as long as existing ones meet to sustain day-to-day operations. And they do not require additional effort from people in an organization.
  • Projects have specific metrics such as revenue, customer satisfaction levels, conversions, and other critical measurements. While BAU is continual and does not necessarily have any set goal apart from continuing operations.

These differences make it clear that BAU and projects are different and that they serve unique purposes within an organization. Both activities are essential for the success of a business, as they both play an important role in managing operations.

What Does BAU Mean for Employees?

Business As Usual (BAU) is an important concept for employees to grasp as it can be the key to successful daily operations.

When employees are aware of their goals, roles, and tasks within their company – and how they contribute to overall success – they can become better organized and more productive.

For example, knowing the BAU activities allows them to prioritize tasks, work collaboratively, identify potential gaps in procedures and ensure no important items are overlooked.

Having standard BAU activities also creates a feeling of stability and security as employees know what to expect on a day-by-day basis. Understanding their importance in the workings of the company may also help increase employee motivation and, as a result, boost morale.

Overall, when employees understand BAU it gives them a thorough understanding of how their own roles fit into the company’s larger operations — and that can have far-reaching effects on a company’s success.

Onboarding an Employee with A New BAU

Onboarding a new employee can be a challenging process, and this is why it’s important to get new hires acquainted with BAU tasks as soon as possible. 

The first step is to share information that relates to the overall strategy and how the employee’s tasks fit into this. Resources should also be provided to allow them to keep up-to-date with business practices. 

The next section will explain how to create and share these materials for successful onboarding.

Moving forward, changes in procedures or technologies should not come without warning, so employees always feel prepared for whatever may come ahead.

Provide regular feedback and support to ensure the employee is on track with their work. And be sure to celebrate successes and milestones, as this can help to keep employees motivated and engaged with their work. This will also help them understand how the BAU activities contribute to the success of the company.

Additionally, training courses are a great way for newcomers to understand systems and processes related to their work quickly.

Keeping these steps in mind during onboarding will make all the difference needed for new hires to hit the ground running and not get bogged down with learning curves.

How to Document BAUs

Documenting business-as-usual is critical if you want your business to run smoothly. Doing so helps employees refer to the same set of procedures for consistency. It also ensures that processes are tracked over time to review their effectiveness, and facilitates onboarding new team members.

A great way to ensure BAU tasks are thoroughly documented is to create a system of standard operating procedure maps. These maps should outline each step of the process while providing explicit instructions.

Additionally, using checklists for employees to follow when completing relevant tasks will ensure consistency throughout the documentation. It is also important to track key performance indicators and results related to the BAUs, as well as document changes in processes over time.

It’s essential that customers’ feedback or other stakeholders’ opinions regarding BAUs be taken into consideration when reviewing how useful and helpful they are, as well as taking notes or recordings during meetings where new changes are discussed. So, there is an accurate history of past actions taken.

With all these components working together, you can rest assured your BAUs are properly documented.

Final Words

Business As Usual is an essential part of any successful business. It helps employees prioritize tasks, work collaboratively, and identify potential gaps in procedures so that nothing important gets overlooked. Onboarding new employees with a BAU can also be made simpler by providing resources to keep them up-to-date on the company’s operations, as well as offering feedback and support along the way. 

Finally, documenting BAUs using standard operating procedure maps and checklists will ensure consistency throughout your processes while tracking key performance indicators for review over time. When used correctly, Business As Usual should prove beneficial to both employers and employees alike!

Suggested mentors to help you make sense of Business As Usual (BAU)

Macauley Kenney


I’m the COO of SurgiBox, a medtech company developing ultraportable operating rooms for use in austere settings. I’ve devoted much of my career to streamlining company narratives for pitches and public speaking, creating the right hiring process, and understanding the customer pain point.

Joey Kotkins

Founder // Growth and Operations Leader

Entrepreneur and growth leader. Current Chief Operating Officer at Brandlive. Formerly Co-founder and CMO of exited Inside Social, Partner and Head of Growth at We Are Multiple, CEO and Co-founder of Safara.

Caitlin Rogers

Co-Founder, COO/Chief Storytelling Officer

Excited to help you with scaling (hiring, training, managing, systems) including implementing Traction/EOS; persuasive writing/positioning for conversion; negotiation; brainstorming; or troubleshooting obstacles! Co-founded Next Day Animations, an award-winning explainer animation studio.

Also an expert in:

Manish Balakrishnan

Startup Fundraising, Growth & Sales Strategy, NoCode, MVP Builds

A two-time startup founder, mentor to multiple startups, EIR at an Accelerator and provide fundraising, product, marketing, and sales strategy to founders. Manish is mentoring and investing in platforms in NoCode and LowCode space, Web3 projects and is a contributor and investor in multiple DAOs.

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