Our team is as diversely talented as our clients are.
Erin Blaskie founded the company in 2004. BSETC is an acronym for Business Services, ETC. In the beginning, BSETC was formed as a one-person operation but after a steady demand for services, the company quickly expanded.
BSETC was conceived well before its actual inception date. At the age of 6 years old, Erin Blaskie (CEO and founder of BSETC) could be found playing “office” with her sister, using the family’s Commodore 64 as her office hub. Erin was always the boss and her sister would be subjected to doing countless of hours of mindless paperwork.
When Erin was sixteen years old, she had a vision of working independently for businesses in her local town performing administrative tasks like formatting documents. It seemed like a perfect potential summer job until she was offered a job in the local ice cream store. At 16, ice cream trumped office work.
With two attempts at creating an office environment in her belt of experience, Erin headed to college and studied Business Administration as well as Advertising and Public Relations. Once Erin was finished her program, she was hired by a private college in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada to teach their business admin program.
During the program, she was constantly faced with the topic of business administration and helped numerous students start the job search process after they were finished their program. While doing so, she realized that there had to be a way for her students to help people independently as well — without waiting to be hired.
After an Internet search revealed the concept of the “virtual assistant”, Erin herself fell in love. It was precisely the same idea that she had when she was 16 but this concept was much more current and leveraged the power of the Internet. Two weeks and a website later, Erin had her first paying client and was figuring out ways to find more.
Six months after opening BSETC’s virtual doors, Erin had enough clients to quit her full-time teaching gig and was able to jump into entrepreneurship full-time. The business grew very quickly and attracted clients across Canada, the US and other parts of the world. As the business grew, Erin consistently found ways to mould the company into providing exactly what her clients needed, when they needed it.
Seven years (and counting!) later, BSETC now provides virtual services to companies across the globe. Having serviced over 300 entrepreneurs world-wide, the 20+ person team has been able to understand how online business works and why entrepreneurship is such an awesome spirit to support.
Meet Our Team
Chris Smith, Social Media Assistant
Chris Smith is one of our resident Social Media Assistants. He assists our clients with social media updates, planning, strategy and more.
In Chris’s own words, “I’m a social media nerd with a love for all things Apple and Nikon. I enjoy watching football & baseball games with friends and live tweeting for everybody to join in!”
You can follow Chris on Twitter at @heychrissmith
Ella Pelayo, Social Media Goddess
Ella Pelayo joined the BSETC team after reaching out to one of Erin’s calls for help over Twitter. She quickly became an invaluable resource for all things social media. Helping our clients come up with both the strategy for social media and the implementation of it, she keeps our clients looking both current and efficient.
In Ella’s own words, “”I am an admin and social media junkie who happens to have a strong passion with organizing, coffee and anything pink.”
You can follow Ella on Twitter at @theofficeescape
Jennifer Puckett, Technically Amazing
Jennifer is one of those rare finds. She has an insanely vast skill set, is experienced in the inner workings of the Interwebs and she has an amazingly sweet personality. Jen has been helping our clients with their WordPress sites, ezines, customer service, sales pages and more.
In Jennifer’s own words, “I am a musician that is now rockin’ out techie tasks with WordPress as my stage. I love being a mom, hanging out with my family, movies, and anything Apple.”
You can follow Jennifer on Twitter at @JenPuckettVA
Lindsey Hardegree, Social Media Butterfly
Lindsey Hardegree joined the BSETC to help clients get organized and stay on top of their to-do lists. Lindsey’s skill set is vast so she also helps our clients with their social media projects and with their administrative needs. Lindsey loves to help our clients and will jump in and do what she can, when she can.
In Lindsey’s own words, “I love helping people through my project management and social media skills! When I’m not busy working I enjoy reading, baking, drinking coffee, and experiencing the arts community in Atlanta, GA.”
You can follow Lindsey on Twitter at @LindseyatTizzy
Rebecca Zwar, Lover of All Things Internet
Rebecca Zwar joined the BSETC team back before we were cool. Rebecca helps our clients with their WordPress sites, search engine optimization projects and their membership sites. She is well versed in all things online business and brings to our clients her expertise and her willingness to help.
In Rebecca’s own words, “I’m a marketing geek that loves the internet a little more than my husband would like! I have a soft spot for WordPress, social media, and online business owners.”
You can follow Rebecca on Twitter at @RebeccaZwar
Rob McPherson, Graphic Designer
Rob McPherson is one of our resident Graphic Designers and he is involved in some of our most creative projects. Rob works on everything from website layouts, to social media profiles to every graphical element that our clients need.
In Rob’s own words, “I’m a creative machine who loves the branding & design culture, amazing ads & art — and other cool stuff.”
You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rminkdesign
Susan Kent, Copywriter / Ghostwriter Extraordinare
Susan Kent is our chief copywriter, ghostwriter and proofreader / editor on the BSETC team. Susan handles nearly 100% of the writing projects with ease and grace and she is always able to tap into the client’s voice like nothing I’ve ever seen before. She has done everything from social media updates to blog posts to ghostwriting an entire e-book.
In Susan’s own words, “I’ve been a writer ever since I learned to string sentences together and I love that I’ve been able to translate that into helping people communicate their messages to the world. When I’m not writing for clients, you can usually find me working on my own stuff at home in Brooklyn or curled up in some park with my Kindle and my beloved Bichon.”
You can follow Susan on Twitter at @SoDiscomforts
More team profiles to be posted soon!
Meet the CEO, Erin Blaskie
Erin Blaskie, also known as the Bizinatrix, is in a hot, passionate love affair with the Internet. Whether she is leading her team of creative, outsourcing professionals or sharing information via the web, Erin brings to the table her enormous passion for tech, geek and the Internet.
Erin is the brainpower behind BSETC, a creative, professional outsourcing firm, which supports entrepreneurs from around the globe with their Internet marketing and social media endeavours. Erin also recently launched Entrepreneur DIY which provides do-it-yourself tutorials for business owners on a wide range of topics. Lastly, Erin provides on-going coaching, support and mentorship to other virtual assistants via The VA Coach.
Erin has been an online video host for Butterscotch.tv and Tucows as well as co-hosting the Macgasm video podcast; has been involved in large-scale social media activations with Ogilvy & Mather; and has serviced high profile clients such as Travelocity, Crystal Light, Tassimo, Shredded Wheat, Dove and Magnum Ice Cream. Erin was turned into a video game character in the iPhone / iPad game “Bar Star.” She also provides guest blog posts for Lawyerist, the Young Entrepreneur Council and Microsoft’s Business on Main site.
Erin is also the reason that Basecamp now has a pop-up calendar on their milestones section, she influenced the lifestream movement amongst the blogging community and she helps companies spread the word about her favorite toys and tools across the online medium.
Erin has also been featured in five print books; received two business awards at the 2010 Bootstrap Awards; honoured as Office Arrow’s 2008 Runner-Up Business Woman of the Year; has been interviewed by countless gurus and media personalities; is featured in major magazines and news outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Inc.com, Chatelaine, Costco Connection, ABC and CBC; and has been asked to speak at both national and international events including WordCamps in New York City, Chicago, Montreal and Toronto.
BSETC has been featured in the following media outlets:
- Inc.com – 8 Tips for Recruiting Using Social Media
- Won First in the Small Business Category for the Shorty Awards
- Bootstrap Award (1st Place) for Best Pixie Dust Technique of the Year 2010
- Bootstrap Award (2nd Place) for Most Innovative Source of Bootstrap Capital 2010
- Bootstrap Award Finalist for Fastest Growing Bootstrap Company 2010
- Named 1 of 10 Young Entrepreneur Blogs You Should Be Following in 2010
- Named 1 of 30 Top Entrepreneur Blogs in 2009
- Total Attorneys (Blog Talk Radio) - Working with Virtual Assistants (mp3 download)
- New Media Radio (Blog Talk Radio) - Social Media & The Virtual Assistant
- John Jantsch - Interview on Virtual Assistance
- VA Visionaries - Social Networking & Virtual Assistance
- Michelle Schoen - On Project Management
- Stacy Karacostas - On Virtual Assistance 101
- Gina McNew - On Virtual Assistance & Delegation
- Noted as 1 of 24 Top Upcoming Entrepreneurs on Twitter
- Named in a list of 50 Good Blogs to Read
- Runner-Up for Business Woman of the Year (OfficeArrow.com)
- Attorney at Work - Five Reasons to Consider a Virtual Assistant
- E-Junkie - 11 Blogs That Every Aspiring Entrepreneur Must Follow
- Business Insider - Top 10 Entrepreneur Blogs You Should be Reading
- The Blog Stylist - Woman in the Know: Erin Blaskie
- John Tesh - A List of the Most Lucrative Web Careers
- [Published Book - Mention/Reference] Michelle Goodman - ”My So-Called Freelance Life“
- [Published Book - Mention/Reference] Association of Web Entrepreneurs - ”The 2009 AWE Guide“
- [Published Book - Mention/Reference] Tina Forsyth - ”Becoming an Online Business Manager“
- [Published Book - Mention/Reference] Pam Ivey & Kristi Pavlik - ”The Business of Being Virtual“
- [Published Book - Mention/Reference] Kristen Jacoway’s ”I’m in a Job Search – Now What?!“
- Featured in Chatelaine Magazine
- Featured in Costco Connection
- Mentioned on Entrepreneur.com
- Wall Street Journal - How to Negotiate with Vendors
- CTV’s Tech Now - People Sharing Their Lives on the Web
- CTV News - Ottawa Woman Challenges Prime Minister to Twitter Race
- Yahoo News - Making Money by the Click
- ABC News - The VA Coach
- OttawaRegion.com - Mompreneurs Can Have It All
How We, in Partnership with Kiva, Help Other Entrepreneurs
BSETC is firmly committed to helping other entrepreneurs in need. We do this via Kiva.org.
Kiva is an amazing organization that devotes its time to connecting entrepreneurs who have funds with entrepreneurs who don’t. These entrepreneurs who need investments are primarily based out of third-world countries and belong to many different industries: agriculture, retail shops, services and more.
To date, we’ve loaned 60+ entrepreneurs funds to help them start or expand their businesses. That equates to over $2,000 in investments. Every time we are repaid on our investment, we re-loan to another entrepreneur. This allows the cycle to continue.
You can learn about the people we’ve helped and get involved yourself by checking out our lender’s page. There is no special tracking link whereby we gain anything from sharing this with you. Just knowing that we’re shedding light on what Kiva is doing is enough for us.