Starting A Vacuum Business and Growing to $100k/month

Published: April 2nd, 2018
Chad Rubin
Founder, Think Crucial
Think Crucial
from Fort Lee, New Jersey, USA
started January 2008
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Hello! Who are you and what are you working on?

I’m Chad Rubin, founder of Think Crucial and co-founder and CEO of Skubana.

Think Crucial sells replacement accessories for the stuff you use around your house-- vacuums, appliances, swimming pool accessories, and almost anything you can think of.

Skubana solves the problems I encountered building and scaling Think Crucial. It’s an all-in-one e-commerce management software that helps you run your entire operation from a single dashboard. At the moment, about 99.9% of my time goes into running and scaling Skubana.


What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I studied finance in college and started covering internet stocks like Amazon on Wall Street. This really opened up the world of e-commerce to me. At the same time, my parents were running a shop that sold vacuum cleaners along with accessories but it wasn’t doing very well. I started helping them out with their business and took it online while still working crazy banker hours.

When I was let go in 2009 after the crash, I was ecstatic - this was my chance for a whole new beginning in e-commerce. I felt like a kid in a candy store. I helped expand the business, first on Volusion then selling on eBay, and then finally Amazon. Ultimately, I realized I didn’t want to be a reseller-- I wanted to have my own brand. That was the genesis of Think Crucial.

The key is to start small and stay scrappy. Don’t put the cart before the horse - source or create a product customers need, package it right, and sell it. As you grow (and only then), add more.

I started Think Crucial to solve a very real problem. At the time, replacement parts were overpriced and hard to find. I set out to disrupt that market by selling better accessories cheaper and creating a fantastic customer experience.

I was selling on multiple channels with an outsourced warehouse, and towards the end, we had to piece about seven different software systems together to just run the business. That’s when I partnered up with DJ Kunovac to create the powerful software we needed to really run the business. We created an e-commerce management software and layered in some automation functionality to help alleviate the bottlenecks of human labor.

Starting Skubana was a natural progression from being a highly successful seller - I found a problem that impeded the growth of my business and solved it.

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