Rico Calhoun has had an entrepreneurial spirit since childhood. He started working at a young age and was able to buy shares of a landscaping company while in his early 20s. That spirit coupled with hard work translated into winning the FedEx Ground Regional Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Calhoun began a career in the commercial delivery service working for a FedEx Ground contractor. After seven years, the business-minded Prince George’s native decided it was time to take a step forward.
“I was really excited about the opportunity FedEx was giving people to be their own boss and have their own business,” Calhoun said. “I worked for a guy for seven years and he gave me the opportunity to buy his route. I bought his route and had one route for one year. After that first year I was able to buy multiple routes from other guys that were looking to get out of the business.”
Now, Calhoun has eight delivery vehicles and drivers with plans to expand even more. The businessman also said there’s still room out there for small businesses to flourish.
“It’s really encouraging because there are other businesses that I’m working with, but this was on a higher level,” he said. “Of course there were challenges, but it’s pretty exciting and it’s a great opportunity.”
Calhoun also takes precious care of his company as well. He goes out of his way to make sure his drivers have the proper training, but he also makes sure they remain happy.
Majestic Transportation drivers must provide documentation that he or she completed the Maryland Driver Improvement Program. Calhoun also holds daily safety meetings with his employees as well as provides bonuses for driving safely.
In addition to those bonuses, Calhoun also offers his employees weekend getaways, gift cards and tickets to various sporting events.
Galen Steele, former regional manager at FedEx Ground’s Washington, D.C. station, said Calhoun’s success is a testament to being a good student of managers he’s had in the past.
“He was able to take the skills he learned from his other businesses – consistent communication, customer service and professionalism – and apply it to his delivery business,” said Steele, currently in charge of FedEx’s Hagerstown, Md., hub. “He always understood what it took to grow and be successful and because of that he was able to take advantage of growth incentives to successfully transition from one route to five in a very short period of time.”
Calhoun also owns Majestic Landscaping, a company he’s owned since he was 21, and co-owns a catering company called Calhoun’s Personal Chef Service with his wife Meleatha, a former Washington, D.C. Metropolitan police officer.
Though he has all that going for himself, Calhoun isn’t resting on his laurels. Majestic Transportation is currently pulling in gross revenues exceeding $500,000, but he is still not satisfied.
“Right now I’m on the FedEx Ground side and I’m looking for opportunities to get into FedEx Home Delivery,” he said. “I’m working on getting my class A (commercial drivers license) so that if any opportunities become available for me to get into the line-haul side of FedEx Ground, I can take advantage of it.”