This past week I looked at a manufacturing company for sale here in Arizona. It has strong, consistent sales, good margins and cashflow. It has employees that have been with the company for many years, with low turnover. It's being offered at a fair and decent price. It has strong market penetration and is the only player in this niche in town.
Yet, I chose not to put an offer on it.
After touring the facility and seeing the operation, I'm convinced there isn't a whole lot more I can do with this one to improve it. Sales would likely remain flat, in spite of any marketing or sales efforts on my part. There aren't any new technologies that could be introduced here to make things significantly more efficient from a costs/operations standpoint. They've got a good team of people in place and they're paid fairly.
Most of the businesses I check out have a lot of problems. For me, problems equal opportunities. And the bigger the problem, the bigger the opportunity.
My advice when buying a business:
Don't get stuck trying to preserve the status quo.
Focus instead on creating new value.