Our main business line (software company) for the past few years has been consumer-based utilities for a very specific platform. We've built a bit of a following in the space, and are known (by folks who use the platform, and, more importantly, by search engines and back-links) as the company to turn to for those types of applications on that specific platform.
But we have a few business ideas we'd like to pursue that are completely unrelated. The target customer would be more enterprise-level rather than end-user, and the platform would be web-based; very different from the platform we're known for.
I know that larger software companies can get away with this (i.e. Microsoft selling Halo at the same time they sell Office and enterprise-level CRM suites, with no-one questioning what space they "belong to"), but is it possible to pull this off for a smaller software company.
Even if the new product is done under a DBA title, and the marketing for the two product lines don't involve the same target customer, is it still considered proper to spin off a new company to deal with the new product line, or is it OK to take the easier route and run the new product as a division or just separate brand from the exiting company?
(BTW, the corporate structure of the existing company doesn't lend itself well to being a holding firm for split companies underneath, nor will it be easy to have the existing company own the child company outright -- we're talking here really about a choice of having the same company with two unrelated software product lines, or a choice where a new company entirely is formed to deal with the new product line).