Mere weeks following our March newsletter the team at HTBX International, along with the rest of the world was delivered updates regarding a national shutdown due to the Coronavirus. A tough message made that much more difficult for a first-mover and disrupter, as a seed round start-up, in the cannabis industry, out of financial runway. Any one of the mentioned conditions would mean “Grand Closing” for a similarly positioned entity. Fortunately the executive team has experience in developing emerging businesses during economic downturns, political uncertainty and social unrest. We woke up to a crisis and needed to act, fast.
First order of business was to assess human and financial assets. Having previously adjusted headcount to focus on a service-centric model, the primary focus turned to reducing accounts payables and engage in progress opportunities to reschedule “when things get back to normal”. With many of our vendors beginning to feel the financial squeeze at the same time, it was clear that normalcy may never return. While most of the country was in mandatory lockdown, we were busy closing down our office, moving to a permanent remote office set-up and scrabbling to mitigate the fallout from 20+ canceled 2020 events. Each week through every month seemed to bring bigger and more daunting challenges, even for established business, let alone a fledgling company. I was witnessing 10 years of progress evaporate into oblivion. Even established, “essential” businesses were struggling to fill the void from what felt like a paradigm shift in society.
Everything appeared to be ending, 10’s of millions filing for unemployment, financial resources drying up left and right, coming out of May the future was looking bleak, then the George Floyd uprising. Decades of systemic racism, class wars and targeted violence against black and brown communities provoked further discontent. Within the organization, however, this final straw of broken civility re-awakened hope and purpose. Where others seemed to be pivoting outside their core competencies, we envisioned an acceleration of opportunity specifically for whom and how The HTBX Solution was developed.
Intent on holding to our agreements with stakeholders, vendors and customers; the team has outlined key initiatives re-imagining a roadmap to success;
I. Standardize sustainability into ecosystem of business
II. Implement consultative services for product development
III. Activate strategic marketing campaign emphasizing the resiliency of the organization management
IV. Reschedule events into 2021
V. Re-engage investor profile with refreshed profile
Moving thru October I can say confidently that all five initiatives have been activated. Our core business model has remained intact and was able to shoulder the burden of potential, substantial losses due to the strength of our operations team, support from advisors and substantial leniency from our vendors. With our community in force I know now, more than ever, that this is now the living dream and our reality. While we are by no means out of thick of challenges we have found resolve and will continue to define engagement with our organization under a new mission.
Bringing people together to design, develop and deliver purpose-built products and services through a diverse network of value added relationships for the cannabis industry.
Thank you for your continued support, guidance and involvement in bringing our platform of products and services to the world.
–John McCaskill, Founder & CEO, HTBX International
Media: Hemp Connoisseur , The Vault Podcast, Denver Post, Westword, Channel 7 News, IHeartRadio Denver Affiliate 107.9FM KBPI Morning Show with Scoop & WillieB