You need to take several steps common for each new city. Construction must be carried out exactly in the shown order - the game does not allow any flexibility.
1. Build a road leading to the edge of the map - intercity road. This is the first step of the city's founding - thanks to it there will appear new residents and goods will be exported.
2. Build the Town Hall. This building provides access to the basic administration of the city - the greater the Town Hall is, the faster the city can grow. There is a relation between the size of the Town Hall and the rate of influx of residents but it is not a huge increase.
3. Build a Utility Center. This structure will provide basic services to a new city - it provides Electricity, Water, Fuel and processes a small amount of waste. Unfortunately, it's not enough for a long time and soon you will need to think about meeting these needs in a different way.
Once you dealt with these elements you will have access to low density areas, but still not all of them. Build a dozen of plots for Workers. You will get access to the Heavy Industry. Then build several plots for offices and plots for Skilled workers who will work in them.
At the beginning, build several plots for shops - retail satisfaction is very important but do not overdo it. At the beginning, two or three stores are enough.
At this point you can already start thinking about specialization - if you have large tracts of fertile land, begin covering it with farms. They need only workers to function and the agricultural products can be used in trade.
You have probably noticed that you neither have access to the manufacturing and modern industry, nor you have the possibility of building apartments for Executives and Elites. But first things first. After reaching the appropriate population number, access to these structures is unlocked.
If your balance begins to go in an undesirable direction - that is begins to fall or, worse, you will lose money, open the trade window and sell all the surplus. The indicator of Resources window will inform you about the surplus. The red rectangle with a line on the left means a large surplus of one of the raw materials. Business will help to quickly make up for the losses caused by the construction of new plots or will fill up a hole in the budget.