AN innovative Ashbourne woman has launched a company to help businesses to promote their services using social media.
Amanda Mansfield thought up Outside of the Box Solutions after a 26-year career with the NHS as a midwife, nurse and many years in consultancy positions, which developed her passion for social media.
After becoming self-employed she was able to devote the time to starting a business plan and develop her business beyond a passion.
Outside of the Box Solutions targets local businesses to provide a personalised plan to use social media to market their services.
Miss Mansfield, of Cokayne Avenue, said her passion for social media and communication meant it was an area she fell into naturally.
She said: "I had been using social media while working with the NHS.
"I really enjoy using it and I enjoy talking to people.
"What I want to do is create good business relationships and help people to use this simple tool which allows them to promote their businesses without having to employ someone to do their marketing."
The 46-year-old has extensive experience in consultancy and developed websites and Facebook pages for community groups, NHS groups and small businesses before starting Out of the Box Solutions.
At 46, with a grown-up son, and a grandson, Miss Mansfield decided that it was time to branch out and support others with social media, having thought about the idea for a while.
She said: "I had set up and managed various Facebook pages before for community groups and my friends said, 'Why don't you turn it into a business?'''
Out of the Box Solutions is already proving successful with businesses such as the Ashbourne Sub Aqua Club and charity shop Mind, which are reaping the benefits of active social media pages.
Miss Mansfield took over the running of the Ashbourne Sub Aqua Club's Facebook page in March and already the page has seen more interaction with members and photos.
She added: "Using social media for business is all about interaction.
"People want to interact. Many businesses have social media pages but they don't use them in the right way to promote themselves."
Having developed a business plan for Out of the Box Solutions, Miss Mansfield said her next steps were now to market herself.
She wants to make the business "visible" and get out and about to meet people and understand the needs of customers.