Your guide to digital asset management for small business

Barney Cox
minute read
Written By
Barney Cox
February 22, 2024

If you're a small business, you're ambitious, scrappy, and resilient. You're competing against your larger competitors, launching products and running campaigns. And to do that, you're creating thousands of marketing assets to feed your channels.

But you've been shut out of tools that can help you grow faster. When it comes to DAM, small businesses have been treated unfairly. To quote one enterprise-focused DAM: “most small businesses can get away with using free cloud storage drives like Google Drive or Dropbox”.

They expect you to put up with the content chaos of Drive or Dropbox, or shell out thousands a month to get a subscription with them. That's not fair.

It's about time small businesses had an affordable digital asset management solution of their own (like Dash, but we'll get to that later).

What's a small business digital asset management platform?

Digital asset management software (DAM) helps you store, organise and use your visual content. That's digital assets like marketing graphics, audio files, logos, videos and more.

A good DAM lets you find, share and deploy your content quickly. It's a much-needed alternative to keeping all that squirrelled away in a complex system of Google Drive or SharePoint folders.

Historically, only big multinationals could afford DAM software. That's why you'll find enterprise digital asset management tools come with eye-watering costs.

But to market online nowadays, small businesses need excellent branding and be creating lots of digital content to feed multiple marketing channels. In short, SMEs and SMBs have just as much need for a DAM as global brands.

How to tell when your small business needs a DAM

It's tricky to know when to take the plunge and invest in digital asset management software. But if you're serious about growing your business, you should consider DAM as an essential small business marketing app. A good percentage of Dash’s customers come from Google Drive, Dropbox or SharePoint, so we'll hand the mic over to them so you can hear from other small businesses. See if any of these situations resonate with you.

Drive and Dropbox are holding you back

Small brands have big dreams. When the marketing tools you're using get in the way of you growing, that can be… frustrating, to say the least. That was the case for furniture brand, RJ Living, who were using Google Drive as the home for their creative assets and digital files.

Nathan, their COO, said:

“It was fragmented and became limiting pretty quickly. To keep a mental note of exactly where each image of a product isn’t very scalable, especially as more people have their hands in the system. It became something people were getting lost in.”

Here’s what their visual content looks like in Dash. A far cry from Drive thumbnails, no?


🪑 Read about RJ Living’s story.

You're fed-up of expensive, enterprise DAMs

Dash customers don't just come from Google Drive, Dropbox or SharePoint. We're seeing an increasing amount of small businesses finding Dash an affordable Bynder alternative or a good option for Brandfolder replacements. You get the more-or-less the same features, with a user-friendly interface and a substantial cost saving too - so why wouldn't you want to switch?

Take it from Matt, the Head of Brand for ice-cream machine company fwip. He decided to switch from Bynder to Dash, because:

“Bynder was just too expensive, especially since they charge per user. Dash does the same job but is much better priced. Especially for the size of our company.”

🍦 Find out how our team aided a smooth transition for fwip from Bynder to Dash.

It takes too long for your team to launch their campaigns

Natural dog food company, Forthglade, have grown quickly. More employees in sales, marketing and ecommerce teams means more people needing access to their top-quality digital content.

That's what David, Forthglade's Graphic Design Manager, set out to streamline. He used Dash as the digital library for brand-approved content, and moved all of it over from SharePoint. Rather than the teams coming to him to check what could or couldn't be used, they could have confidence everything on Dash was ready to use.

“I wanted one place where everyone knew if they were going there to get an image, it was definitely approved and good to go!”

Freeing up their assets allowed Forthglade to get campaigns off the ground, fast.

🐕 Check out Forthglade’s story for what happened next.

The 5 key benefits digital asset management software can bring to your small business

Okay, now we get to the best part. How can digital asset management for small businesses actually help your company? There's a wide range of digital asset management benefits you can use to save time and grow your brand.

To bring them to life, we'll use an example brand called Planto who sell (you guessed it) houseplants.

Let’s dive in.

1. Search all your brand and marketing content in one place

We'll start with a core digital asset management benefit: being able to search your creative assets, from product images and audio files, in one centralized location, regardless of file type. When all your essential files are in Dash, in one central location, you can search through them easily.


To help you search your asset library quickly, Dash uses two types of tagging features - custom fields and tags created by artificial intelligence.

You create custom fields yourself depending on how your small business wants to find things. For instance, you might want to search for what type of marketing campaign your content has been used in, or which of your micro-influencers created it.

Auto-generated tags are created by Dash's AI. It scans your visual assets and will auto-tag images with relevant keywords - like ‘plant', ‘human', ‘smiling'.

When you use these two tagging features together, combined with Dash's search function, they can drastically improve how easy it is to find an image. Check out the example below.

tags and fields in Dash-png

Both of these different types are searchable, so you can pop in search terms to find relevant assets. You'll never lose another piece of content again.

2. Collaborate with your team

Dash has a ton of different ways for secure file sharing, too. It's collaboration features makes it a great asset sharing tool when you're working with marketing, sales and creative teams.

For example, maybe you're working with your marketing team on new social content. You can group different pieces of content together in a ‘collection', then create 'collection' share links to send to your team.

You can also share groups of assets by email or using a link. Then pick the link expiry date - or set it to never expire, if you'd rather!


Dash can help you with the content collection part of the creative process, too.

Say you're about to launch a new product line. Your photographer has taken a tonne of new photos of the new products and you want to set up approval workflows. With Dash's access controls, set the photographer as a 'contributor'. Then, have them upload straight to Dash and you'll be able to approve the ones you like, reject the ones you don't, and provide feedback on the images that need extra work. You can even provide time-stamped feedback on video files, too. It'll speed up your creative workflow so you can get your campaigns off the ground quickly.

3. Streamline how you work with external partners

Small businesses can't afford to increase headcount straight away and run everything in-house. You might sign up a paid ad agency to manage your social advertising and commission a designer to work on a rebranding project.

At the same time, you're working with resellers and wholesalers who stock your products. Or talking with members of the press who want to run stories on you.

These different types of external partners all need your visual content. If you're not careful, you'll be inundated with file access requests from all angles.

Not so with Dash. For each of these situations, you can set up a portal. A portal is one of Dash's more advanced features and is a publicly-accessible version of your Dash. Think of them as a mini digital asset library which you can customise for each of your retail partners. Your reseller can use Dash's search and filtering features to find relevant assets, all in Dash's simple user interface. And they can do it all without logging in, so you don't have to worry about handling user permissions.

4. Keep your brand consistent

As small businesses grow and create more content for more channels, it can be tricky to keep a single source of truth and maintain brand consistency.

If you rebrand, then it's a hassle getting everybody to update the creative files they're using.

Version control in Dash has you covered. When you upload an image as a new version of an existing file, it'll automatically email anyone who's downloaded that asset. Magic! ✨

But Dash goes beyond that, too. By creating a home for all your company's approved assets, you can make sure the quality of your branding doesn't suffer as the number of people needing access to your assets grows. It puts you in complete control of your brand quality.

5. Achieve your growth targets

Want to know the top reason small businesses get in touch with us about trying Dash? It's because they're trying to grow and have realised their shared drives are slowing them down.

Here's how a DAM like Dash can help you achieve your growth targets:

  • By having every asset searchable and easy to access, it’ll save you and your team time. That’s time you can spend elsewhere on more productive tasks.
  • You can get assets ready for your marketing campaigns much quicker. Just select from preset crops and sizes to transform an asset into an Instagram post or a website banner.
  • Dash’s portals provide a seamless way for you to get content to valuable partners like resellers, wholesalers and other shops who stock your products. The easier you can make it for your partners to work with you, the easier you’re making it for them to sell your products. Check out watering can brand Haws and how they use portals to do just that.

Interested? Take out a no-strings, free trial using below.👇


Digital asset management for small business FAQs

How long will it take to get going?

This depends on the digital asset management system you decide to go with. If you opt for an enterprise-focused tool, then you'll get an enterprise-focused onboarding experience. And by that we mean it'll take a while and you'll pay for the privilege.

If you want to finish getting set up quickly, look for two key things: the support you'll be given moving your assets to their new home; and the quality of the user experience of your chosen digital asset management software.

Dash has also won multiple awards on review site G2 for how easy it is to use. A great user interface means your team can get going with Dash themselves, without bothering you for tech support.

How can I get all our brand and marketing assets ready to move?

If you sign-up with Dash, we’ll do all the asset migration for you. You’d just need to share your Dropbox or Drive folders with us, and we’ll get all your assets into their new home. And we’ll do it for free.

All you’d need to do is decide which assets you want to move over to Dash. That’s not as daunting as it sounds. Check out our guide on migrating assets to your new DAM for extra information.

How much will digital asset management software cost?

This also depends on the digital asset management tool you end up picking. A word of warning: as we've covered, most of the heavyweight DAMs are made for enterprise companies. That means their price tags are designed for big brands with big budgets.

Here's what to watch out for. If you're on a DAM provider's website and the customer logos they feature are all huge brands, proceed with caution. And if the cost is nowhere to be found on the website, then it's time to make a sharp exit. It means their pricing model is too complex to articulate on a webpage or it's eye-wateringly expensive.

If you decide you'd like to go with Dash, you'll just need to set aside funds from £79 / $109 a month to get started. And you'll get access to all digital asset management features and unlimited users, right off the bat. It's low risk to get going, too. While big name DAMs will lock you into annual contracts, if you wanted to leave Dash we'd only need a month's notice.

Can I use Dropbox or Google Drive as a digital asset manager? 

The short answer is no. Dropbox and Google Drive are not built to help you search and find visual content. Sure, they’re great for general file management and document collaboration, but when it comes to image and video management, you’ll have a hard time finding and sharing the content you need. 

The main reason for this is because you can’t tag or add fields to your content. Plus neither Dropbox or Google Drive use AI for image search, so they can’t identify the objects within your image. You’ll have to rely on file names and tiny thumbnails to find the content you want. 

Many of our customers actually migrate from Drive and Dropbox over to Dash because it's much better suited to their needs. Check out these articles to find out more: 

How do I convince my small business to sign-off on a DAM?

If you’re not the budget holder, it can be tricky making a case to your manager to get started with a DAM. If that rings true, here’s a few things you can do to smooth the process and get your manager on-board:

  • Pick a DAM with affordable prices, but where you don’t have to sacrifice on the quality of the platform. Like Dash! 😇
  • Estimate the return on investment (ROI) of your DAM. Look at how much time you’re spending doing current tasks that a new DAM would be able to help you with.
  • Take out a free trial of the DAM vendors you like and start customising it to your small business by adding assets and branding. That way, when the time comes to show your manager around it, it’ll already feel like home.
  • If useful, start building a case for a DAM which you can present to your budget holder. If you go with Dash, you can use our editable pitch deck to get started.

Can I connect my DAM to the tools I’m already using?

You sure can! Most of the top digital asset management tools let you sync them up with applications you’re already using. Take Dash for instance. You can connect it to your Shopify so you’re able to drop product photos straight into your product listings. Or if you’re a designer, you can sync it with your Adobe Creative Cloud to use graphics stored in Dash in your creative projects. Check out our full range of integrations.

What's the best DAM for small business?

If you need a DAM that doesn’t cost half your marketing budget, but don’t want to sacrifice on quality, then Dash has got your back.

Sure, we’ll admit it. It’s not a DAM for big enterprise corporations of the world. But the one thing we pride ourselves on? Having built a top-quality, affordable digital asset management tool for small businesses. We understand you because we’re a small business ourselves.

Don’t just take our word for it. We consistently sweep the board of G2’s small business awards, thanks to our customers’ reviews.

Here’s a few of the awards we won recently:

  • Overall leader for small businesses
  • Best estimated return on investment for small businesses
  • The DAM small businesses find easiest to work with
  • The DAM which provides the best support for small businesses
  • The DAM small businesses find easiest to use
Dash small business DAM awards

You can use this DAM software comparison sheet to help you compare providers. And if you’re interested, we’d love to work with you!


When you’re ready, use the form below to take out a no-strings free trial and see what all the fuss is about. Or book a call with us and we can chat!

Barney Cox

Barney is the Marketing Lead for Dash. He writes about small business marketing strategies and how DTC brands can boost sales.

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Barney Cox

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