Im the 8th employee,They are already doing fine in cash,1.5 years old, but i dont think getting equity is an option for me. Or maybe we havent just talk about it yet. And they are putting it on me to offer them a price. I will appreciate if somebody helps me out a little.
1. Figure out your current 'market rate' based on your brand, experience ..etc using tools such as glassdoor.com, your current salary, references (similar professionals nearby).
2. Ignoring salary, think about what this job can do to your career - get to work with / build relationships with great people? dig deeper into a domain you care about? learn a new technology? ..etc. In other words, how will working for a few years at this company help your overall career goals 5 years down the road?
3. Think about what value you will add to the company - i.e what are you good at? what special advantages do you have (relationships in the domain, access to people that can open doors ..etc), realistically how you can move the needle in next 1,2,3 years.
4. Look at their situation - are they funded? how much raised? how big is the market? did they find market fit? what is the expected growth and revenue in next 1,2,3 years?
5. Now given #1, #3, and #4 and keeping in mind #2 come up with a realistic number for salary and equity.
This is difficult to answer because you haven't given us much to go on. What type of hardware are they building, and how big and fast do they plan to grow?
It really doesn't sound like they have a growth strategy in place yet, so my guess is you would need to create that for them, right? If that is the case, then you would need to show them how you have helped others in similar situations do the same. When I was trying to land a multi-million dollar client, I had to show how I had already helped a similar client do the same thing they were attempting.
If you have that experience, then you can justify by saying, "They paid me X for that service. I know that may be high for your budget (and it should be), but maybe there is a way to work on my salary and also offer something else to compensate for that?"
This gives them a framework to start from, and opens the door to equity conversations. It also puts the ball back in their court, but with a little guidance.
Most importantly though, don't settle if you don't think you will enjoy the job or career. If you know what it will take to keep you engaged and happy, set that as your stop-limit and don't go lower unless the upside potential is worth it.
There are plenty of websites out there that can tell you industry averages for different positions. Start with glassceiling.com.
If you are really wanting to get equity and you think you've got what it takes, consider offering some audacious sales goals in return for equity.
Otherwise, get in there and prove yourself and make yourself invaluable. Once they can't live without you, renegotiate your package to include equity.
Best of luck!
Coach, consultant and therapist to entrepreneurs