For many business owners, the thought of planning a summer vacation can be complicated at best and unthinkable at worst.
Concerns about customer or client care and anxiety about missed business opportunities can make many small-business owners feel they cannot take any time off.
Despite these worries, more than 67 percent of business owners still expect to take a break for at least one week this summer, according to an annual survey by OPEN from American Express, the company's small-business team.
"Small-business owners work very hard, and it's important that they take time off to recharge," said Alice Bredin, small-business adviser for OPEN from American Express. "Advance planning can make it easier for them to take a much-needed vacation and quell concerns about their companies running smoothly in their absence."
The following tips may help business owners justify some time off this summer and save some money as well:
* Plan ahead to save money. Some credit and charge cards allow cardmembers to earn points toward everything from airfare to car rentals to hotel stays and let them redeem points at virtually any airline with no blackout dates or restrictions. By using a charge card like the Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express throughout the year for business purchases, you can accumulate points quickly to help offset the cost of your next vacation.
* Brief key clients or customers. When possible, give them a minimum of two to three weeks' notice. Identify your stand-ins and communicate your confidence in their ability to help should a problem arise.
* Take a day trip or a three-day weekend. Sometimes a long getaway is just not in the cards. In that case, a brief escape with a change of scenery can do wonders and allow you to return to work rested and refreshed.