What Is a Strategic Goal?

by Erin Schreiner; Updated September 26, 2017
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The setting of a strategic goal is a major step in strategic planning. When businesses both large and small engage in strategic planning, they attempt to craft strategies that improve their ability to select the appropriate steps toward success. Though the strategic goal is not the first component of the strategic planning process, it is in many ways the most important, as it is the endpoint that planners are ultimately trying to reach.

Definition

Strategic goals are goals created to identify the intended accomplishment of a business strategy. When companies create strategic goals, they directly identify what they see as the outcome of their business efforts. Strategic goals are most commonly created when a company is mounting a new strategy. For example, if a company adopts a new advertising campaign in an attempt to draw buyers to their products, they may also create a strategic goal, or desired endpoint, of their new advertising efforts.

Strategic Plan

The strategic goal is the outcome that a company attempts to reach when crafting a strategic plan. A strategic plan is a more detailed explanation of the steps that a company will take to reach set goals. Because the plan is an extension of the goal, the creation of a strategic plan often comes after the creation of a strategic goal, with companies first setting goals, then developing a plan as to how to meet them.

Strategic Issues

The creation of a strategic goal begins with the identification of strategic issues. Strategic issues are strategy-related problems standing in the way of a company's success. For example, failure to reach the intended audience with advertising attempts could be a strategic issue that the company in question wants to address.

Goal vs. Objective

In the world of work, goals and objectives seem to go hand-in-hand; however, there are some distinctions between the two. When a company leaders make a strategic goal, they are identifying a general end point that they want to reach based upon identified needs. A strategic objective, on the other hand, is more specific. While strategic goals can be either qualitative or quantitative, a strategic objective is almost always quantitative, as it is by definition more specific. Generally, companies make goals prior to composing objectives, making the objectives a more specific extension of the goal.

About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.

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