First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Patrick Murray: My wife is a physician and pregnant, so we’ve been isolating more than we’d like– but we have a very fun and active 2-year old that is keeping us busy and happy. I will say, this smoke in Northern California has been worse for me personally than the pandemic because my favorite pastime is getting some fresh outdoor air. But luckily, these past two days, the air has been clear, and it’s been heavenly, TRULY HEAVENLY! I am writing this in my office with the door open and AC on just because I missed fresh air so much, lol. I could talk about air for days…. but yes, we are here to talk about my other favorite thing– PARKING!
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded On Air Parking
Patrick Murray: I’m one of 7 kids and grew up in Pittsburgh, PA. I fell in love with the idea of starting businesses from a young age and was lucky enough to find myself in the parking industry 7 years back. At that time, I met my friend/ mentor Brett Harwood who is now my business partner. We started On Air Parking in 2016 to help the parking industry fight to survive while Uber/ Lyft was threatening our industry.
How does On Air Parking innovate?
Patrick Murray: I’d say we specifically innovate by thinking outside of the box and staying lean. There are so many creative ways to help people save money on parking, and we aren’t afraid to try those things out. We will do it in a lean manner, though, and if it’s not working– we’ll stop.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Patrick Murray: Our business and industry took a 90-95% hit in March/ April, and many businesses in our industry are still experiencing hits of 75-90%. We are actually now seeing YOY growth for this quarter upwards of 50%. We are seeing these numbers because we know how to specifically target leisure and vacation travelers who are price sensitive. With the pandemic- this demographic has increased!
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Patrick Murray: The most difficult decision we had to make was to stay focused and double down on our core business. The entrepreneur in me that is addicted to solving problems and creating new solutions saw so many ways that we could pivot and make some money in the short-term, but I’m really glad that I have finally learned my lesson to just stick to what’s working. We made a bet that we’d be able to keep sales going, and that’s paid off.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and On Air Parking in the future?
Patrick Murray: My morning routine really helps me stay in control of my emotion. I am controlled by my emotions without it. My morning routine:
1. 20 minutes of TM meditation.
2. Dance party in the living room with my family.
3. Run/ quick workout.
4. Prayers/ day planning.
My goal is always 100% YOY growth and constantly giving people what they want. As we keep this up, opportunities- which are easy to find- keep coming up.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Patrick Murray: Airport Parking Reservations and Arrive. We will stay in the game by staying lean and thinking outside of the box.
Your final thoughts?
Patrick Murray: Hey reader, first off- parking is cool again, and Uber/ Lyft are oh so icky with germs. If you need cheap airport parking or parking in NYC, we’d be happy to serve you. Secondly- if you are founder/ founder in the making– keep working on what is the core of your business with your whole heart, and when you look up in a year from now, you won’t regret it!