Aaron Roesler knows all about working hard. The successful business owner and athlete, standing 6 feet 4 inches, has an extensive bike racing background and has rivaled in races across the U.S. and in Europe. Roesler has used his competitive nature and knowledge of all things bicycle to launch and run a successful California-based business serving law enforcement across the U.S.
American Bike Patrol Services (ABPS) is a one-of-a-kind enterprise. We were fortunate to catch up with the driven entrepreneur to learn more about his unique business.
Roesler’s life changed in 1993 when his wife heard that the local police department needed bikes servicing and weren’t happy with their current vendor. At that time, Roesler had a small 700 square foot shop. He’d learned the ins and outs of biking from his racing days and an earlier stint in bike sales and was in an excellent position to offer his services.
During this time, all police departments started introducing bike patrol programs and Roesler was right in the middle of it. He began training officers in the skills they needed to effectively keep the public safe. Roesler started as a volunteer but quickly realized it was a business opportunity.
“Because of my background, I can handle any training scenario like using a patrol bike on hills, stairs, and curbs. We also work on things like endurance and suspect approaches,” he says.
During his close work with police departments, he went through a level two reserve program at the police academy earning status as an instructor for bike patrol. “It gave me credibility and helped shape the training curriculum.” Through word of mouth, ABPS evolved into a training organization, assisting police departments, private security, military, and government agencies across the west coast.
APBS also specializes in selling patrol bikes, accessories, custom uniforms, and red/blue lighting equipment.
“Sales has always been in my blood,” says Roesler. “But I won’t sell what I don’t believe in. My clients appreciate my 100% transparency. I won’t try to upsell equipment they don’t need and they trust me with sensitive information.” ABPS’s Basic Security Bike Class has been the most recognized course of hands-on instruction by security and private corporations nationwide.
Roesler didn’t have formal business education. Before becoming a business owner, he earned a degree in food science and nutrition, working full-time as a Los Angeles County health inspector. He later learned a business mindset working as a director in the security industry where he sat in on high level meetings. When he started ABPS, he turned to, as he calls it, the University of YouTube.
“My wife is a teacher and says online learning is a viable option in lieu of the pursuit of a traditional college degree. That is certainly true for me. Patrick Bet-David and other business gurus offer phenomenal information that has helped me control finances, create budgets and hire teams.”
Roesler didn’t need a loan or to tap into personal funds to get his business off the ground. However, as he grew, he did utilize outside funding. “We took out several small, short-term loans but they were just killing me on interest. I started doing research and looking at all my options. An SBA loan made sense after working out all of the figures.”
Roesler took out a $300,000 low-cost SBA loan from a SmartBiz marketplace bank with a 10-year term and a monthly payment of $4,000. “It wiped out our smaller expensive loans and cut our monthly payments in half. We also used about $20,000 on little things here and there like bicycle lights and tires. The loan keeps cashflow steady so we don’t have to worry about payroll. Our receivables and payables are well balanced so we’re able to keep $100,000 in emergency reserves.”
Roesler worked with SmartBiz Relationship Manager Carolynn during the SBA loan application process. He says, “Carolynn meshed well with my personality. She was quick and patient - a perfect fit. She made it work.”
Carolynn reports, “Aaron was so great to work with! I enjoyed hearing him speak passionately about his business and all of the exciting ways that American Bike Patrol Services has changed and grown over the years. Aaron had done his research and knew all of the possible options he had for funding. I’m so glad that he chose SmartBiz to help keep his business growing without putting a strain on his business cashflow. I can’t wait to see how our work together propels his business to the next level!”
When asked how many hours he works a week, Roesler laughs.
“I work all 9 days of the week. Thankfully, my wife of 28 years gets it. She will remind me that things can wait and to get off my phone.”
Roesler’s competitive spirit runs in his family. His daughter, who now runs social media efforts for ABPS, attended college on a full ride scholarship where she served as the captain of the Volleyball team. His son was an all-star baseball pitcher and entrepreneur who has his own video game company and also works part-time with his dad producing drone videos for the ABPS website. “They’ve seen me push myself beyond limits training and winning races,” Roesler says. “It definitely translates into an entrepreneurial spirit.”
Thanks to Aaron for doing his part to keep the public safe. SmartBiz Loans wishes you and your business the best!