This week in small business: Secret weapons, 20 questions, and talking to Alexa…

This week we have a secret weapon for business success, how to tell the real digital marketing pros, tax tips for the gig economy worker, and much more to enhance your competitive edge.

Leadership, management, and productivity

Matt Hunckler makes a strong case that emotional intelligence could be the “secret weapon” for your success in business. (I guess it’s not a secret any more…)

First “smart homes,” now “smart businesses.” In this PC Magazine article, Rob Marvin goes over 23 must-have Alexa skills for your small business.

Running a tech startup? Megan Totka says you should invest in women. We agree.

Marketing and sales

This article was overdue: How to spot real experts in the online marketing industry. Along those same lines, Eric Samson relays five tips for finding the best digital marketing agency for your business.

Creating lifelong customers should always be the goal. Kerry Anderson gives us an example from her life that offers insights.

Anna Fitzgerald goes over five basic ways to market your small business in this article.

Convincing a roomful of men that there’s money to be made in women’s hygiene products is a tough row to hoe. Ellen Huet tells the tale.

Forget flying by the seat of your pants. Becca Wilson insists that measurable results are a must for advertising and marketing spends.

Entrepreneurship, startups, and innovation

Dan Bova gives us the story of entrepreneur Jon Snyder who run Contenders, the official licensees of MGM for the Rocky and Creed films, and for the WWE.

In this edition of Entrepreneur’s “20 Questions” series, Nina Zipkin puts Harper Reed in the hot seat. Reed was in charge of technology for Barack Obama’s second presidential campaign and the creator of what is now PayPal Commerce.

Sally McGraw does a good job making the case that you should pay yourself a salary as an entrepreneur. No argument here.

Politics, government, and the economy

Tom Taulli, founder of Pathway Tax, offer three tax tips for those working in the sharing economy.

Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching? – Bruce Van Horn