For Entrepreneurs, This Summers No Day at the BeachWhile many Americans will be rolling out the lazy days of summer lounging on beach towels, few entrepreneurs will likely follow suit.

Less than half plan to take even one week of vacation, American Express OPEN Small Business Vacation Monitor found. One-third of owners said they feared losing clients if they headed out of town. By comparison, in 2006, 67 percent said they would be taking time off.

This isn't a good thing.

Not taking vacation leads to burnout, for starters. Also, don't you get a million new ideas for your business when you're on a break? Forgo vacation and you might miss your next great idea on how to grow your business.

Though, if you feel like you just can't get away, it may be time to hire more staff -- or maybe your first employee. Offload some tasks, cross-train someone to cover your workload and lay the ground work now for vacation 2012.

Until then, here are a few ways to utilize this summer at work most effectively:

  • Host employee training sessions. Better-trained workers are more productive.
     
  • Take a planning day. When's the last time you looked at the big picture?
     
  • Update your website. Is that color scheme dated? Content a little stale? Perhaps it's time to upgrade and refresh your site so it can help you drive more sales...maybe while you relax by a pool.
     
  • Touch base with prospects. Get out the followup file and see who you could check in with that might be ready to buy.
     
  • Declutter. Clear the office and archive or toss materials you're not currently using.
     
  • Hold an event. Celebrate summer with your customers -- and maybe drum up a few more -- by hiring a band and hosting a party.
     

Will you take a summer vacation? Tell us whether you'll stay or go, and why.