Building a Thriving Family-Centred Business

What is the true meaning behind a building a family-centred business? How does it go deeper than just working closely with families? Being family-centred means valuing parents as a core part of the process. But, it can also refer to creating a sense of family within your own team.

A thriving family-centred clinic focuses on multiple areas. At the end of the day, it’s not just about involving a child’s family throughout their therapy journey. Creating a family-culture in your own team is thus a major part of the process.

On this episode of PPMP, David and Rochelle Appleby discuss what family-centring truly means to them at Red Frog for Families. They are passionate about helping family members using a developmental approach. In our discussion we reminisce on their early days, revisit their growth, and talk about their clinic’s future plans.

What other aspects are essential for them as a family-centric business? Let’s explore.


Family-Centred Business Beginnings

Red Frog for Families was founded by, and is run by, the family of a boy with autism.” David and Rochelle’s experience living through the “fun, the fear, the frustration, and the sadness” of a disabled son led to the birth of their business.

It wasn’t long before they realised that their son’s requirements weren’t being met in his therapy sessions. As a result, they decided to create a clinic that would fit his needs, as well as the needs of the entire family. Big changes had to be made in order to enjoy their quality of life.

Family values quickly became the foundation of their private practice. Ultimately, their personal experiences became a driving force behind the type of clinic they wanted to run.


Recruiting a Family-Centred Team

Being family-focused played a big part in the hiring process at Red Frog for Families. Soft skills of warmth and empathy were fundamental when considering someone for the job. Those qualities can be hard to find, but aren’t impossible. Therapists in the family-centred sector need to be able to make genuine connections with family members.

It soon became obvious that the employment process was mirroring the experiences they had with their son. Basically, they would base the decision on their past experiences looking for a therapist. If this person could work well for their own child, then they’re going to work well for other kids.

Choosing their team revolved around this central factor. A warm and caring nature was the ticket to success, even though they could also teach, guide, and mentor their therapists.

Rochelle and David learned how to focus on truly valuing staff relationships. A vibrant culture soon emerged, which shows us how important it is to truly listen to your team. Respond to them, support them, and encourage them. Establishing a healthy work-life balance is also a huge part of a harmonised culture.


Uncovering a Gap in the Market

Everything started off with a lot of hard work. Building a business from the ground-up is no easy feat. It’s no secret that the early stages of a company will almost always require a huge amount of work.

For David and Rochelle, taking their business out of their home was a crucial step. A strong network of people was able to form as a result of this step. This indicates that you can pinpoint what the wider market is looking for by developing a like-minded community.

Soon enough, the need to expand their clinic became clear. A gap in the market appeared, and they were able to take on the opportunity to fill it. Countless families were in the same position that David and Rochelle were in not so long before. Essentially, they had walked the path that these families were walking. Their vision began resonating with many as a result.

By marketing themselves as a family-centred business, they could connect with a specific audience. Their company continued to grow overtime with these clients who desired a specific kind of support. Consequently, it opened itself up to new groups of families in need.


Creating Systems with Families at the Forefront

As they were starting to expand their building systems were under periodic control. The fear of large wait lists began creeping in. This fear stemmed from their own experiences as parents with Alex. “Swamp” was incorporated into their business. This practice management system was developed to do the specific things they wanted, while keeping families at the front of their minds.


Finding a Solid Support Circle   

Finding people who can give you the support you need is integral to growing any business. Rochelle and David teach us the importance of asking for help. That could mean getting business coaching, or having people around you with varying levels of knowledge.


Self Care is King

“Frog-Free days” is what they call their days off. Self-care is a huge part of their business, especially because they belong to the allied health industry. Being part of this industry can cause us to easily forget about our own well-being. We’re so focused on caring for others. Don’t neglect to look after yourself, and schedule time for free days. 



Red Frog for Families is a great example of what it means to be a family-centred business. It’s so refreshing to see practices like theirs giving importance to teams, relationships, and culture.

What can we learn from David and Rochelle? Make use of your personal experiences, build a vibrant team culture, and find your target audience. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or utilise management software. Most importantly, schedule in those much-needed self-care days.

Listen to the podcast to hear the full story of Rochelle and David’s practice. This includes their future goals for the practice, and some wonderful gold nuggets for businesses in their early days.

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