A Woman's Touch
Marietta Snetsinger did not plan to be in the franchise industry but she ended up exactly where she wanted to be.
Marietta grew up in Windsor, Nova Scotia. She went to university at Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax where she studied Human Ecology (aka Home Economics). When she moved to Ontario, she landed a job with Kitchener based M&M Meat Shops.
And she loved it. Marietta enjoyed helping people build and develop their own small businesses using the franchise model. She was able to use her Home Economics background to do fun projects like creating What’s Cooking? videos for franchisees to help them with their food ideas as well as support them in their sales and day -to -day operations.
Marietta enjoyed this work for several years before having a baby. Soon after, she joined Baskin-Robbins and worked on their franchise development in Canada. When this position was eliminated, she then had the opportunity to think about what next?
So Marietta started Ascend Franchise Solutions, a company providing support and development services for organizations wanting to franchise their businesses. And she has never looked back.
Her company provides coaching and support to help franchisors set up the strategy, system and documentation needed to set up and sell the franchise concept to others. As one of the only female franchise business consultants in Canada, Marietta brings a personal touch that is not all about ‘sell, sell, sell.’ She is passionate that the franchise relationship is well supported so that everyone can succeed.
Marietta’s main challenge in running her business, like most entrepreneurs, is time management. And she is not sure she has successfully overcome it yet! But she has learned some key lessons about making sure that the time she has, is well spent. Marietta now understands she can’t do everything at once. Being able to pace herself is important. This is not a race. Marietta says running a business is not about going ‘somewhere’ but that it is crucial to ‘enjoy the journey’.
And Marietta has learned this the hard way. She came down with Bell’s Palsy last summer (full-recovery is expected, but it takes time) and for several months and was not able to work as hard as she had previously. She was forced to take time to rest and tried to keep workloads at a minimum, getting plenty of extra rest when possible.
This experience helped Marietta realize that your health really is your most important asset and as entrepreneurs we really need to take care of ourselves. There is no employer to pay benefits or cover a leave of absence and if an entrepreneur can’t work, she can’t earn. Although having Bell’s Palsy has been very difficult, Marietta knows that it could have been much worse and she needs to manage her expectations and make time for self-care.
Giving back is also important to Marietta. She is a very active member of the North Cambridge Rotary Club. She has had a special connection with Rotary for many years - a Rotary member was her first client! Rotary’s philosophy of peace and ‘service above self’ feeds Marietta’s strong belief in the idea that ‘the more you give the more you get’.
While Marietta is still very passionate about the franchise industry, she has another business idea that she is hoping to launch. Through Empowered Visions, Marietta offers Vision Board Workshops and empowerment coaching for women and she would love to spend more time doing that.
Marietta’s story clearly demonstrates the value that passion, a personal approach, and caring about others brings to the business world. It is important that women entrepreneurs do not shy away from sharing their skills and values because they may look ‘different’ to what is currently being offered.
Marietta’s business success clearly demonstrates that there is a need and a market for ‘a woman’s touch’. And, given the enthusiasm that Marietta has for her current work, her community and in launching a new Vision Board business, it is clear that her journey has only just begun.