Market research is not a complicated process. It allows you to evaluate if SEO is going to work for your business. You just take inventory on what you sell, who you sell it to and where you sell it. Also, it gives you an idea of where you are starting from and how tough a road it will be to knock out your competitors.
Once you have completed your market research, grasped a general understanding of the playing field and determined SEO makes sense, you are ready to move to the next step. Step 2 is the most important part of your SEO plan and the foundation of everything moving forward: Keyword Research.