We had the good fortune of connecting with Phil Shearon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Phil, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Great question, especially in 2021! We know that timing is everything and clients have expectations that they want to see their hired partners meet. Equally as important, our company, no matter the size, has clear working hours that we’re available to work with our clients. When we are working with a new potential client, it’s our goal to include a conversation to discuss and set fair expectations around our timelines and communication turnaround expectations. Plus, we work to keep our clients in the know with their project progress each time we talk with them. As well, we end each call or text with reasonable next steps. This keeps everyone feeling equally important and informed. This is true even if we see that 10:47pm (after everyone else at home is asleep) emails come in while working on something for business operations (yes, we’re a small business). We quickly weigh it out… Was this email an urgent or emergency email (call or text) that needs immediate response and if so, quickly act accordingly. Or was it an email that can simply wait until the morning. The key to this is to act urgently when necessary, which is not every late night email. Sometimes responding to an email about a material selection may be URGENT for the client to get done but in reality, the urgency was getting the final selection and the actual order can be placed and confirmed the next business day. Oftentimes, we find that the later hours are the times that our clients have gotten their households settled and actually have the time to sit down to make decisions for their projects, which they already know that they will hear back from us the next business day to confirm. Our company is intentional with the time we’re available for clients and we prioritize our follow-ups communications.
Equally as important, each project starts off with setting fair and clear expectations that serve the client, the actual project, and our design company. Projects are opportunities for partnership and collaborations. All three (client, project, design team) are equally important to the successful completion of the project. We set this in the beginning of each project, before signing the contract, because if there’s an unreasonable timeline or we’re being asked to do something that we don’t believe in or isn’t within our wheelhouse; we know it’s better for all three (client, project, design team) that we don’t move forward with the project. As well, if we’re honest and integral with our design scope and realistic with our experience level for the requested scope; we can all make informed decisions on how to best proceed forward.
Yes, we consider the “project” as a member that does contribute to the successful completion of the actual project. What I mean by that is if we keep boundaries in check that the project requires, the client and our design team will be working together for the benefit of the project. This helps us in times where maybe a client has forgotten the focus of the project or maybe the agreed scope has increased. We are in favor of expanding the project which increases project revenue but we will always remind our clients how this will affect the project timeline. All in all, these boundaries are easily set and maintained by keeping the main thing the main thing.
We want to make sure that all parties involved know the clear scope of work and as we mentioned above, we believe that regular progress updates and meeting deadlines will keep everything moving forward positively. Sometimes, that means creating special touch points for clients that would need the additional support through the project and knowing which projects are OK with our typical timeline.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
We are a Landscape and Outdoor Living design company based here in Arizona. We specialize in custom design services that range from complete landscape designs projects that are all-inclusive of every outdoor element. As well, projects focused on key areas or elements for outdoor living spaces and we also include outdoor furniture and furnishing collections available to purchase. Our services provide an end-to-end solution that delivers our clients with complete plans and leaves them thrilled with what we’ve created because they know exactly what their outdoor spaces are going to look like. This gives our clients incredible designs that aren’t cookie cutter, rushed, or intended to drive the highest margin points possible. They receive stunning custom design work and the best design experience simply because by choosing to work with us, they’re not solely relying on a landscape contracting company to “come up with a design” and then hoping they will build what they’ve designed at a fair price.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Easy! You have to get to the Desert Botanical Garden! It’s a truly special place and full of incredible plant life that will make anyone think twice about what it means to live in the desert. Growing up here in AZ, I always wanted to see green trees, grass, etc. but over the years, I’ve grown a deep appreciation for our native plant life.
After visiting the DBG, you have to check out Downtown Gilbert! The East Valley (Mesa/Gilbert area) never had anything greater than a few Movie Theater type mega chain shopping centers but after many years of waiting, Downtown Gilbert finally developed ! Amazing food, great fun – especially if you love old arcade games (go to Level 1 Arcade). Favorite food while in Downtown Gilbert – either Culinary Dropout OR Pomo Pizza.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
After having a successful and fulfilling career working in leadership positions for Fortune 100 companies, Phil decided to pursue his passion of designing stunning landscapes when he started Shearon Design Collective.
Shearon Design Collective is a growing landscape design company that comes out of a lifelong dream of Phil’s to continue the multi-generational legacy his family started as Residential Home builders. Growing up in a family that has been designing and building homes in the Greater Phoenix area for more than 60 years, Phil and his team are continuing this legacy of developing Phoenix homes for generations to come.
Shearon Design Collective