I've been freelancing for a former colleague of mine who has started a new business. I've known the colleague about 4 years professionally, and he reached out to me to join his business as an employee. The new company is made of mostly ex-colleagues of his so far. He has given me a full time offer contingent on the business reaching its next funding goal, likely in 1-2 months.
The problem is the salary offer is about 15-25% lower than my previous job, depending on if I ignore the bonus factor. My previous salary was generous overall. I'm curious how I might negotiate this to a more reasonable number? At the very least I'd like not to take a paycut from my previous base salary. I've seen that the company is doing well so far, and the next funding will solidify it, so I don't think they are hurting for cash.
The unique factor seems to be that he specifically sought me out for the position based on my unique skillset to offer within the new company, I'm the lead. I've got 10 years experience in what I do, and have created similar things to what they want in past, with lots of transferable knowledge/tools. I plan to use the next 2 months to deliver amazing results, such that he wouldn't want anyone else for the role. No one better, and no one new either.
What is the best approach at getting the 15-25% more I expect? I feel like if I just stated the minimal 15% higher, it would be compromised down to somewhere lower. And if I stated "I was thinking 15-25% higher than this number", 15% is the best that would be possible. If I went high at 25% more, it might be considered absurd.
At the same time, I'm interested in continuing this role, so he may know I'm not going to walk away from the low offer. I've been interviewing elsewhere with no offers yet, perhaps I play-up other company's interest?