Um, hello! I'm sorry if this is already a thing, if it is would you kindly direct me to it--
but I'd like to ask if there are any beginner layouts that you know of that are efficient? I'd just like to make my town start off the right way! Thanks!
Hmm, not that I know of. The game is constantly changing at the lower levels, so many new items/buildings being unlocked, and it all depends on which order you choose to do certain things. There's many level 10 threads suggesting to stay at that level for quite some time while you accumulate enough simoleons for more buildings, and to do a lot of cargo shipments for keys (easiest at lower levels).
Try and stick to 1 long and winding road, intersections will create traffic, and you'll get bugged to upgrade your roads (costly).
If you need to boost population early, build the Department of Transportation, followed by Heliports.