A successful cleaning entrepreneur has joined the battle to win business customers from Scottish Water with a focus on small and medium sized enterprises.

Roger Green founded the Brightwater supply operation with ecommerce veteran Richard Rankin in the belief rivals that have focused on winning big customers may have failed to spot the potential of the SME sector.

The company has found that water can represent a significant cost for SMEs but many have not investigated switching suppliers eight years after the non-domestic market opened up to competition in Scotland.

“Our research has shown that there is a marked lack of awareness of deregulation in this sector,” said Mr Rankin.

“Many business owners don’t think about switching water suppliers, despite the fact that switching your photocopier, phone or broadband supplier is more common.”

Brightwater is targeting businesses in sectors such as retail, services, tourism and hospitality and professional services.

The company expects to be able to supply water at lower cost than rivals and to help customers achieve savings by reducing water usage.

Mr Rankin said the confidence is based on the company having a lower overhead base than bigger companies and making the most of modern technology.

Musselburgh-based Brightwater will sell on supplies obtained from Scottish Water and use contractors to complete field work.

The company’s plans assume it can help customers to achieve cost savings of over £1 million in total through competitive pricing in its first three years.

This is based on the firm recruiting 2,500 to 3,500 customers.

Brightwater has signed up 65 customers since it started supplying water in April.

These include accountancy firm McDonald Gordon & Co, which Brightwater expects to save over £250 a year.

Scottish Water’s Business Stream arm has more than 50 per cent of the non-domestic market in Scotland, which is worth around £350m annually.

The non-domestic market in England will be opened up to competition from April.

Last week Business Stream bought Southern Water’s non-domestic customer base. The deal will allow Business Stream to add 105,000 customers in the south of England to its customer base from April. It will double the size of the customer base.

Mr Rankin said England will provide a great expansion opportunity for Brightwater. The company will monitor developments in the English market with a view to entering it at the best time.

Brightwater secured a six figure investment package to support its move into the Scottish market.

It has seven employees in sales and customer support.

Mr Green founded Spotless Commercial Cleaning in 1989 while he was a student at Edinburgh university, studying Swedish and metaphysics. The Edinburgh-based firm grew into a business with £11m turnover and 1,200 staff.

Mr Rankin is an internet marketing specialist and spent three years as head of ecommerce at the Blackcircles tyres business.

The two men worked together on the Operation Cost Cut consultancy.