Entrepreneurs work hard. They need to make every moment count, but they can’t always afford the things that would simplify their lives. We’re going to help you out with this week’s Trending Thursday, which features advice on how to get nontraditional loans, how to battle self-doubt and some tools you can definitely afford that will take your small business to the next level.

Check out the trending articles and tell us what tools you use to boost your small business’s profile.

  1. Trendingsep24If you’re looking for a lesson in practicing transparency with your customers, look no further than Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn. This week, the German automaker left its customers feeling betrayed after news broke of the company deceiving environmental regulators in the U.S. since 2009. Granted your business may not grab as many headlines as the once beloved VW, but we’re pretty sure you wouldn’t want to risk having op-eds or negative reviews floating around the cyber world with your brand as the lead.
  1. Has your small business been turned down for a bank loan? In the world of traditional banking, small business loans have all but disappeared. Check out these four reasons why your small business should look for alternative lending options, including having less than $5 million in revenue and a desire for more flexible loan terms.
  1. It’s natural for entrepreneurs to sometimes doubt their decision to go into business for themselves. The long hours, shaky finances and huge amount of stress would drive any sane person a little crazy. Joel Holland, founder of Video Blocks, has some advice for new entrepreneurs in this video that will build your confidence.
  1. trending2sep24Startups need to prioritize between what is absolutely necessary and low priority options that can wait a few months or a year. However, thanks to new technology that is cheap and efficient, all startups can afford these stellar seven tools. Here’s a preview: use a tool like Clickbooth for cheap advertising or a free web design tool like Wix.
  1. Small business owners are pretty busy. Ok, they’re really busy. The more that can be taken off the plate, the better – right? Unfortunately, they also tend to feel the need to control as many aspects of their lives as possible. According to Rachel Gillet, small business owners should hire other people to do these twelve chores for them.