votrechien - 8:52 pm on Nov 14, 2012 (gmt 0)
You know the optimal solution: run two sites. But like you mentioned, there's a lot more work associated with running two sites,so the decision isn't quite so easy. If you're a one-man army, then your current site will have some negative effects as you direct some of your own time to the new site. Don't fool yourself- you can do one site way better than you can do two sites.
If you merge the brands, you're going to lose some business no doubt. The question is how much? If you're going to retain 95% of the business, then it's a no-brainer: merge the brands. If you're going to retain only 50% then it's a no-brainer the other way.
So my opinion would tend to be to run both sites separately for 4-6 months with the ultimate goal of merging them unless you can either stream line things enough that you can successfully manage both without serious detriment to the other or if you can hire someone else.