1) Wide habitability set up in my genome. Lacuna offers players the chance to set their own genome. One of the settings affects which orbits of planets you can colonize. I made sure to set my genome so that I can colonize planets in any orbits. This makes searching for planets to colonize that are close to my home-world trivial, and allows me to grow faster because my travel times between colonies are much shorter, so resources are more liquid across the empire.
2) Focus exclusively on the University on the home planet. My home planet is 38 squares, and does nothing but work on upgrading my university and my capital. Having the capital and university on the same planet means that your production and storage can grow in direct proportion to your university, which is important as the game gets further into the higher levels. All ship production should be moved off the home-world as soon as possible, so that it can simply focus on getting the university better and better.
3) I have a standardized layout for my colonies, with one resource set up in each direction, radiating from the central command post. This makes it easy to check on each colony quickly and not have the game eat up too much of my time.
4) Fleet shipping. As a trade-off in the genome construction, I turned my Trade affinity down to 2, which made it hard to build big cargo ships. Instead, I leveled up my space ports and built large fleets of 4k capacity dories. This worked well to distribute supplies until I was rich enough to buy large cargo ships on the open market.
Hope that helps, and I’ll see you all on the Expanse.