The Incredible Journey of Nancy Bigley, CFE, as a Woman in Franchise

Nancy Bigley CFE

Nancy Bigley, CFE, is an accomplished Franchise Operations Executive with a demonstrated track record of growing revenues and profits through implementing growth strategies, business practices, and systems that establish a sustainable competitive advantage.

High-energy, results-oriented, innovative, and problem-solving leader committed to achieving strategic goals while strengthening franchisee relationships and cross-functional teams; Nancy’s areas of expertise include sales development and profit growth, franchisee relations management, brand standards management, strategic planning and execution, operations system development, profit and loss reporting, and team building.

Nancy Bigley, CFE, stumbled into franchising entirely by chance. Franchising became a part of her life over 25 years ago, and she hasn’t looked back since. She fell in love with the systems, processes, relationships with franchisees, and replication of successful ideas after experiencing them.

Nancy began her career as Vice President at American Leak Detection in 1991. She worked for 12 years, leading a team of 13 support staff, three directors, and 170 franchise locations that generated $55 million in sales and $6 million in revenue. Nancy was in charge of the company’s and franchisee’s operations. She collaborated with the President and CEO to develop and implement department and company strategies. She collaborated with the franchise advisory council on all major company strategies.

Nancy then worked as a Regional Manager for The Dwyer Group, as a Senior Director of Operations for Dunkin’ Brands, as Chief Operating Officer for Painting with a Twist, as CEO for Twist Brands, and as CEO of The Little Gym International, Inc. Nancy also founded the Bottle & Bottega Headquarters.

Bottle & Bottega is a franchise that specializes in wine and painting parties. As CEO and co-owner, she developed its business model and infrastructure before launching it as a high-quality franchise brand. Her responsibilities included strategy development, system and software development, business development, marketing, and franchisee relations. She led our company through the sale and merger with Painting with a Twist, where she remained as COO.

Other female franchise leaders have always inspired Nancy to accomplish great things and push herself. She has attempted to inspire other female leaders to take calculated risks to pursue their goals. Early in her career, she recognized the impact she could have working with franchisees and then cascaded those lessons to an entire brand. These victories energized her and were incredibly satisfying. She has remained vigilant in searching for the most powerful levers with the greatest impact.

According to Nancy Bigley, CFE, Franchising is all about collaboration and developing systems and processes. She believes that these are inherent characteristics of female leaders. As a result, they feel at ease sinking into franchise roles and developing networks within the industry to encourage and assist female franchisees in continuing to learn and grow. Numerous franchise brands are now designed to perform optimally when led by female executives, which Nancy appreciates. For Nancy, the magic and gratification truly occur when female brand leaders collaborate with and encourage female franchisee leaders.

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