Don’t shoot the messenger, but it’s only 20 weeks until Christmas… what does your business need to have ready for the festive period?

It’s August. We’re in the midst of the summer holiday period, and we’re topping up our tans and jetting off abroad for some predictable sun. So, why the dickens are PHS Greenleaf talking about Christmas?!

It may feel a little premature to be planning your personal Christmas, but the business pros are already in full festive swing. This involves:

  • Working on your Christmas marketing campaigns
  • Ordering a Christmas tree and lights
  • If you’re a retailer, CRB checking Santa!

In fact, retailers, restaurants, hotels, and any other businesses that place a big emphasis on the festive season and want to maximise their profits between now and Christmas, should be rolling out the first of their seasonal products and promotions by mid-October at the latest. This is because, according to statistics from The Huffington Post, 40% of people start their festive shopping before Halloween, while 48% say they’ve completed this by Black Friday.

So, despite Black Friday typically being the busiest day for shopping each year (plus predictions that it would be overtaken by 23rd December in 2016), it’s vital to remember that people who start early will spend more of their Christmas shopping budget the further away they are from the big day. Therefore, you should be making sure your Christmas merchandise is put on display early!

Christmas planning timeline for businessesEven for non-retailers, such as restaurants, pubs, hotels, and general office buildings, there’s no harm in getting a head start on decking the halls and spreading the Christmas joy before December. A festive atmosphere won’t just help to boost your employees’ general mood and morale, as well as encourage communication between them, but it will also make your premises feel more welcoming to potential visitors. Just hold off on the Christmas re-mixes until December, please…

Your Christmas decorations should also be ready to go up in November, so order them a few weeks in advance to ensure you have enough time to get everything installed. Bespoke Christmas displays, and displays for larger premises, will require a more extensive amount of planning, and the design process won’t be as quick it would if you were choosing a pre-decorated tree.

However, a bespoke display can add a personal touch by incorporating your brand colours, which will really make an impact and make it worth that extra time and planning!

If you’re hoping to install an outdoor Christmas lights display, then you also need to factor in the extra time needed for this to be achieved. Installing exterior lighting displays takes great care; especially as those installing the lighting will be working at height. For this reason, risk assessments will need to be completed before any work can be completed on your premises.

If your premises are smaller or you’re short on time, a pre-decorated commercial Christmas tree would be the best choice for your business, and we’d advise choosing an artificial tree if time is an issue. At PHS Greenleaf, our real and artificial Christmas trees are available in 3m, 3.6m, and 4.5m sizes, as well as both traditional and contemporary design options.

Still unsure of where to start? Consult our Christmas planning timeline below…

Christmas planning timeline for businesses


  • For all businesses: look back on your previous marketing actions, and start planning this year’s offers and promotions to be ready to be rolled out from mid-October.

    Christmas planning timeline for businesses

  • For all businesses: have your Christmas party venue booked; otherwise you’ll be left with less than jolly staff come December!


  • For all businesses: have your Christmas decorations and lighting displays planned and ordered so they can be put up in November. This is especially important if you need a larger or bespoke display as you’ll need to take the design process into account.


  • For retailers: start rolling out your Christmas products and promotions to target shoppers that want to find the best deals and finish their seasonal shopping as soon as possible.
  • For all businesses: get your Halloween-themed decorations down; it’s time to make room for your Christmas tree, lighting displays, and other decorations!
  • For retailers: Have all your Black Friday offers planned and ready to be rolled out next month.


  • For all businesses: spread the Christmas joy, and get your decorations and lighting displays up and fully installed at the beginning of this month!
  • For all businesses: it’s time to get the Christmas remixes on! Make sure your playlist includes all the old classics, including Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’, Wizzard’s ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’, and Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’…
  • For all businesses: decide who has who for Secret Santa.


  • For retailers: re-hire Santa after the brandy is cracked into 3 weeks early…
  • For retailers: have all your Boxing Day offers planned and ready to be rolled out on the 26th.
  • For retailers: ship the last of your orders before your finish posting deadline.

For more information on Christmas services from PHS Greenleaf, check out the resources below: