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The Ultimate How-To Guide on Franchising Your Business

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Expert Franchise Consulting Services for Emerging & Established Franchisors

Michael Baum - Franchise Consultant

Michael Baum


Senior Franchise Consultant
iFranchise Group, Inc.

Area of Franchise Expertise


Strategic Franchise Development and Business Planning:
Strategic Planning, Capital Formation, Branding

With 40 years of experience in a variety of senior management positions, growing and diversifying both public and private companies, Michael Baum has particularly specialized for the past 25 years in the education field. He has consulted with leading companies in curriculum development, educational technology, assessment, and early childhood education, providing new product planning, market analysis, and K-12 school marketing. 

A veteran in both the quantitative and the creative sides of direct marketing, Mr. Baum was previously the president and COO of The Artful Home, where he completed a major rebranding, doubled sales, and raised several rounds of growth capital from both angel and venture sources. 

Mr. Baum was also formerly the CEO of Renaissance Learning, Inc. (Nasdaq: RLRN), a leading developer of educational software and training for K-12 schools. As CEO, Mr. Baum helped grow one of the leading classroom assessment technology firms, launched their training and consulting arm (which became the core of its national sales program), and led their highly successful initial public offering (IPO).  During his tenure as CEO, sales grew from $20 million to more than $100 million. Mr. Baum interfaced regularly with institutional investors, repositioned corporate marketing, and developed new products. In 2014, RLRN was acquired for $1.1 billion.

Prior to Renaissance Learning, Baum spent a decade in franchise consulting, assisting with franchise marketing, distribution channel strategy, and branding.  During this time, he oversaw and provided consulting services to hundreds of firms covering a wide range of product and service categories. Some of the major franchise companies with whom he consulted included Ace Hardware, Bally’s, Hallmark Cards, Shell Oil, Texaco, Valvoline, and Encyclopedia Britannica.

Mr. Baum began his career in merchandising, working for 11 years selecting and marketing high-quality giftwares for a Chicago-based national catalog firm. He is an experienced presenter, facilitator, and public speaker.  Mr. Baum holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale University and a M.B.A. from Northwestern University.

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