Case Study

Turning a Passion for Music Education into a Thriving Family Business

guitar shop

Why Next-Generation Family Business Planning May Not Be Easy

Sometimes family business succession planning doesn’t include the next generation. But careful, proactive planning can ensure that your family business carries on for years to come, even if it’s not family owned.
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Eckroth Music
Eckroth MusicBismarck, ND

Eckroth Music serves communities in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, and Wisconsin by providing instrument rental and purchases, accessories and sheet music, and in-house repairs. In addition, through their Lonely Instruments for Needy Kids (LINKS) program, the Eckroth Music Foundation provides instruments free of charge for children who would otherwise not have the opportunity to participate in band programs.

In 1972 when Bill and Mary Ann Eckroth purchased a music store in Mandan, North Dakota with the vision of bringing quality music education to the students, families, and educators of their community, no one expected them to be as successful as they are today. Over the last 50 years, the business has passed to the next generation, expanded to over nine locations, and extended ownership to the employees. Throughout all of the growth and change, the core focus, values and culture have remained the same—"it’s all about the kids.”

Much of the longevity and success of the organization can be attributed to the heart and soul that Bill, Mary Ann and Jeff Eckroth—as well as the Eckroth Music family—have poured into the organization. However, Eckroth Music has relied on Eide Bailly since the beginning to help navigate strategic business decisions.



  • Tax strategies that support growth.
  • Audited financials and GAAP compliance support.
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan execution and accounting support.
  • Succession planning focusing on supporting both people and business.
  • Human Resources consulting and placement.
  • Holistic business and financial consulting to navigate challenges and embrace opportunities.
By the numbers
Learn more about the client
locations – and still growing
school districts served
years in business

Watch as Eckroth Music discusses what it’s been like to have Eide Bailly as a trusted business advisor for over two decades.

The Results

A partnership for the now and the next.

“We don’t look at Eide Bailly as a contract service provider, but really as a partner in navigating the spaces that we’re in and those that are yet to be seen.” - Jeff Eckroth, CEO | Eckroth Music  

From accounting and finance to business strategy, we work with Eckroth Music to find the best path forward. Whether that means helping them fill an open position, planning for transition, establishing an ESOP, or ensuring compliance, Eide Bailly is a partner Eckroth can trust. 

music instruments
Exit Planning
e-BookKey Considerations in Exit Planning
Preparing to exit your business is a series of choices, assessments, and reassessments. It’s a process and the longer you give yourself, the better off you’ll be. Discover the four stages of every successful transition plan in this comprehensive e-book.
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