Graduation is a celebration of the ending of one journey and the beginning of another. Millions of graduates will be celebrating their past achievements and future adventures, and so for that reason graduation parties are very important.

Many bakers say that spring graduations are one of their biggest sales periods of the year. The rush of people looking for cakes and other bakery products for their celebrations means that bakeries must be well-prepared ahead of time if they want to avoid be overwhelmed in May.

General Mills Convenience & Foodservice provides some helpful tips so that bakeries can make the most out of the season.

1. Prep – Take your time in the next few weeks gathering information about the local schools (ranging from pre-K to middle school to high school to college). Know what the schools’ color schemes are so that you have the right materials on hand. Also, make sure you have permission to use logos and mascots. Finally, it helps to have the graduation dates of each school so that you can be more organized.

You can put together a spreadsheet to keep track of each school’s information.

2. Stock up on non-bakery products – Graduation parties will often need items such as plates, napkins, and forks that all feature the school’s colors. Why have your customers make separate trips to a party store when they can acquire those materials from you? This helps those shoppers who are in a rush to get things done.

3. Alternative cake options – While traditional sheet cakes are still the most popular type of graduation celebration dessert, there are plenty of non-traditional options at your disposal. Offering alternatives such as cake pops or cupcakes allows your customers to pick something that will stand out at their planned celebration.

4. Getting the word out – The most essential part of graduation sales are the customers, and they have to know that you offer graduation items. Promoting your bakery to the public is always important, but especially during these potential sales booms. Aside from your regular marketing, you can also work with area high schools or colleges to run advertisements in their student newsletters/papers or on their websites.

You can also use the targeting features on Facebook Ads to specifically reach high school and college students in your area. Use your creativity to make an ad geared towards them and their families/friends.

Graduation season is a great time of the year to not only boost sales, but also set yourself up for future success by winning over potential new customers.