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Salary Negotiation Tactics in Working with a Startup

Salary is one of the most talked about, thought about and important aspects when it comes to working with any company. Sometimes, and very often, salary discrepancies are one of the make or break parts of obtaining, retaining and securing a job opportunity – and working for less than one feels they deserve, or more hours than they feel the salary is worth, is sometimes a major issue. 

The issue of whether one is willing to work a salary job and or hourly is pretty personal and individual to each person. Maybe you feel as though it’s a much fairer situation to be paid hourly so that each hour you actually work is properly compensated. 

Then, there are some who really enjoy working for a set amount every week, where they know they won’t earn any less because of a shortage of hours. Whatever works for you and pertains to your individual situation is what’s best. 

How Startups Differ in Terms of Salary Negotiation

The great thing about working with a startup is that usually, despite your fears, frustrations and desires, your higher-ups will be more than willing to work with you and give you the proper compensation you deserve. is a great place to look for startup employment that you can receive the best possible benefits package and wages possible through. The companies listed on the site treat their employees properly, and will always properly compensate their employees.

There used to be a stigma that working with a startup would earn you far less money, and that they pay unfairly – but that’s usually not the case. Most startups pay very competitively, with the exception of some newer startups that are unable to pay competitive wages due to lack of funding at the beginning, and or the newness of the company. 

Startups are also usually pretty flexible on pay, which is super helpful in times where unforeseen things arise. Some are willing to pay via direct deposit, while others give people the option to utilize PayPal, Venmo, or other means where they are able to receive funds online. 

Many times, they are even willing to work on a case per case basis, where employees are able to be paid either salary and or hourly. This can be negotiated during the interview and or potentially hiring process. 

The most important thing one can do is make their requests known, so that the employer or potential employer is able to accommodate the requests of the employee, or at least address the issues up front and allow you to be aware of policy, company practices, or current pay scale and schedule. 

Some Tactics One Can Use When Working with a Startup

One of the wisest things you can do when accepting a position with a startup is to review the compensation offered and compare it with other jobs of the same in your local area to review whether or not you are happy with what is being offered. If you feel it’s a safe bet, and think it’s fair, go with it. If not, present a counteroffer to your employer and give them a few reasons why they should pay you that dollar or two more per hour. Make what you say count and give them good reasons as to why.

If you are being offered equity with the job, that’s always a major plus. If you aren’t being offered any equity, asking whether or not that is a future possibility and how realistic that premise actually is is a safe bet. Depending upon what the answer is, you know whether or not it may be worth accepting a bit less of a pay scale. 

Educate yourself and do a bit of research on how their deals were made in the first place. What do they invest in? Where is the company in terms of funding? How did they even get there? Ask questions. Not only does it show initiative, it also shows you are smart enough to ask the hard questions and show an interest in the company, to boot.

If you’re going to negotiate anything within your contract, such as pay, vacation time, benefits, or the like, it’s best to do that up front – and choose to negotiate for things that truly matter. Fighting for frivolous things is usually a waste of everyone’s time. Be sure to ask for the things that truly matter – like medical benefits, and if you don’t need vision, say so. Be honest about your needs, desires and requests, and give your employer a reason to grant you your requests. 

There are many different things you can do to negotiate your employment contract so that you will be happy and your employer will be happy as well. Another great thing about working for/with a startup is that they understand happy employees = better results for the company. It’s a no-brainer, but believe it or not, some employees – especially in larger companies – don’t quite understand that concept, or care as much as they should.

Some other points to consider when negotiating your salary are whether or not you need to relocate from your current location to the general area of the job location. Will travel and relocation expenses be covered? That’s an important aspect to ponder and discuss at your interview. 

Another great negotiation point is to ask whether you can have a pay review after a set amount of time. Perhaps 6 – 12 months is a great place to do a pay review. Ask how often pay could be increased after that point, and find out if and when bonuses may be a possibility.

Last but not least, be prepared to give statistics if needed. For example, you can show data based upon how many people in your particular position are earning x amount of dollars and what their experience level is like. Websites like allow you to research this type of information and you can then save/print that data, presenting it to potential employers when you are negotiating your pay package. 

One final point to make is that you shouldn’t just accept the first offer or first numbers thrown out there at you simply because they exist. You owe yourself to fight for the best salary, hourly, and benefits package possible – and one way to do that is by negotiating. Statistics show that women are far more likely to take the first offer that comes their way – and this can pose an   incredible issue for women’s fair pay rights globally due to the fact that women aren’t fighting back against the stigma that we can and should accept less than what a man would, because we just aren’t worth fighting for. 

Do your due diligence, do your research, present your facts and negotiate like hell and chances are likely you will come out on top with a wonderful salary you can be proud of, a benefits package and bonuses to look forward to. 

You are capable, and you can make it happen. If you are in the process of looking for startup employment but don’t quite know where to start, check out where you will find incredible startup opportunities daily.