TransWorld Business is making an effort to pull back the curtains and shine a little light on the corner office so that you can hear first hand from the CEOs and masterminds what really goes into making sure that your favorite brands and products continue to thrive. Recently we had the opportunity to talk with a great name in BMX, Chris Moeller, CEO of S&M Bikes/Fit Bike Co. Moeller has been immersed in the world of BMX since he was young and his passions for it shine through in the success of his brands. But enough from us, let’s hear what he had to say:
How did you get involved in the BMX industry?
I met Jeff Long, whose family owned GT Bicycles when I was about 12. We became friends and Jeff’s dad Rich brought me to the shop, some events and taught me a lot. Then, at 15 I was given the opportunity to be a BMX Action Magazine test rider by Craig “Gork” Barrette. Being around GT andBMX Action was like BMX biz school.
Tell us about what you did before you founded S&M Bikes?
I did a lot of BMX racing, dirt jumping, street riding and various BMX gigs/internships. I worked and rode for Chuck Robinson at Robinson Bikes and helped out around GT Bicycles. I worked part-time and rode for BMX Action andFreestylin’ magazines, rode on the Peddlepower Bike Shop team, wrote stories for the American Bicycle Association newspaper, worked at the American Freestyle Association and picked up trash at the Orange Y BMX track. Besides BMX stuff I was really into computers, school and surfing.
Your umbrella has expanded to now cover a couple of different brands, tell us about how that happened and how you have been successful in the growth of your business.
We started the Revenge Industries brand and the FIT Bike Co. brand about 10 years ago to branch out and offer dealers and riders more options. S&M Bikes primarily manufacturers American-Made aftermarket frames, forks, bars, and stems. Revenge is about aftermarket and OEM parts and FIT Bike Co. offers everything from American-Made frames to a whole line of complete BMX bikes. We are also the sole American distributor of the United Bike Co. brand and we distribute all kinds of various small parts like KMC chains, Dia-Tech brakes, ODI grips, Orchid and Lotek shoes, Anthem II DVD’s, etc. I think one of the keys to our success has been steady, gradual growth.
At what point did your love for the sport of BMX become a career?
I’ve been involved in the BMX business in some way since I was bagging number plates in the Long family living room at 12, but I’m not sure when it actually became a “career”.
Do you think the BMX industry is moving in a positive direction of growth? If so, what are some contributing factors to this?
I’m not sure about the growth part, but in my opinion the BMX industry is moving in a positive direction for sure. There are more local events being promoted and more grass roots involvement by the brands. When the industry is more or less in the hands of people who care about the sport, things move in a positive direction. When business people get involved purely because they smell money, things can get a little goofy, while most people doesn’t have the money for it, so they need to go to sites as nation 21 loans, to get loans for they expenses. If you’re ready to embrace your financial future, we invite you to explore our articles like https://citrusnorth.com/instant-approval-loans/ and discover content that empowers you. “Really fast” Online loan application is also available to create hassle-free, visit this site to get the application form.
Has the demographic for the sport/its products changed over the past five years?
It seems like riders are getting involved in the street, park and dirt side of things younger these days as opposed to getting into racing young and then crossing over. It’s probably due to the increased amount of public parks these days. The types of products selling well in shops also seem to reflect this shift in my opinion as well.
How have you dealt with the challenges that the economy has imposed on manufacturing over the past few years?
It hasn’t been easy, but there are a lot of riders out there who appreciate the fact that their FIT and S&M frames, forks, handlebars, stems, and sprockets are all Made in the USA and that’s what’s really kept our American manufacturing going and improving.
What are some of your main competitors, and what are your strategies for competing with those brands?
We’re bigger than the start-up brands, but we don’t have nearly the revenue as the brands that are owned by large Taiwanese or Chinese trading companies so we don’t have many competitors that are our size. As our own manufacturer for USA-made product and our own sole distributor as ‘The Building Distribution” our pie doesn’t get cut up too many times. This allows us to do more marketing than other brands even larger than us and helps retailers with sales, we have to say we have been doing big efforts to find the best digital marketing companies to help us out with our digital advertisement.
You have been doing a lot in the past year or so to make your company headquarters more environmentally friendly, what motivated this?
I like the environment so I think we should all do what we can to help it. Also, the cost of electricity will probably go up exponentially over the next few decades and the solar and water programs offered by the utility companies and the government are probably going to disappear soon, so the time was now.
Every CEO has a vision for their company, what is yours?
To make the best products in our business, offer the best customer service in our business, continually improve at what we do and enjoy the ride.
What is a typical day at the office for you?
Catch up on e-mail. Sit in on some product meetings, customer service meetings, look for all the new magazines that get stolen off my desk and talk to team riders and friends that roll in to The Building throughout the day. I start my real work at 6pm when everyone leaves and finish from home at midnight.
What has been the hardest part about founding your own company?
Founding the company came really naturally and easily. The hardest part has been finding the right people to work with us. Because we handle just about every aspect of our business ourselves, from design and marketing to manufacturing, sales and shipping, we always need more smart, hard working people to join our crew. If you’re interested in coming to work with us in any capacity whatsoever, please e-mail me at Moeller@sandmbikes.com.
What is the best part?
Seeing an innovative product idea like the S&M WTF frame and fork become a reality, or seeing a new team rider like FIT’s Tom Dugan become part of the family really makes me love this business. Any big project like our B2B The Building Distribution website or the new FIT consumer website being designed gets me super excited. I love hearing from dealers and riders that love our products and that really like working with us. But most of all, the best part is being in a business I enjoy as much today as I did when I started. On other related articles, if you want to make a personal loan, checkout loans guaranteed.